Indian Navy in South China Sea: Beijing’s unwelcome escort
- 2008 Malegaon blast case: Bombay HC grants bail to Sadhvi Pragya
- Worst in Chhattisgarh in seven years: 25 CRPF men killed by Maoists in Sukma
- Govt said no but SC firm, sends back names for Allahabad HC
- PFA’s Haryana chief says he trained Delhi suspects, had worked under Maneka Gandhi
- Jaish-e-Muhammad launches jihad fundraising drive in Pakistan
Just when external affairs minister S. M. Krishna was affirming in India's right to 'freedom of navigation' in Washington, news reports from Shanghai say China is testing Delhi's political will to exercise this right in the South China Sea.
Krishna's affirmation was part of the India-U.S. Strategic dialogue this week in Washington. Meanwhile an Indian naval contingent, on an extended operational deployment in the South China Sea during the last two months, has called in at the Shanghai port on its way home.
According to reports from Shanghai, when the Indian naval squadron led by 'INS Shivalik' was on its way to South Korea from the Philippines, the People's Liberation Army Navy provided an unwanted escort.
Although the Indian ships were in international waters, a Chinese frigate sent a message "welcoming" the contingent to the South China Sea and sailed along for the next 12 hours.
Last September, it might be recalled, a caller identifying himself as representing the Chinese navy told the Indian naval squadron sailing off the Vietnamese coast that it was in China's territorial waters.
The unwelcome escort this year reflects the PLAN's hardening attitude to India's naval presence in South China Sea. Indian navy has been flying the flag in these waters since 2000.
The PLAN's challenge to India was presented in a typical and exquisite Chinese style. In 'welcoming' and 'escorting' the Indian naval unit, the PLAN was showing India its velvet covered fist.
The message is this: "nice to see you here, but you are in our territorial waters and within them there is no right to 'freedom of navigation' for military vessels. You are here at our sufferance."
In a well-calibrated escalation, Beijing is testing India's rhetoric on 'freedom of navigation' and the political will in Delhi to defend its proclaimed rights in the South China Sea and sustain a forward naval presence in the Western Pacific.
- India’s political & security establishment needs strategy in light of China’s naval expansion
- Extremism comes in all shades. Justice Shah should critique each one
- Modi’s rise to power saw mushrooming of RSS & affiliates like ABVP
- The political project of Hindutva is incompatible with a liberal polity
- Three decades of mistrust
- From plate to plough: The faraway fields