Modernisation of Chinese Navy cause of major concern: Naval chief

Admiral Joshi

When asked how India would respond in light of Chinese Navy boarding and searching vessels in the South China Sea, the Navy Chief said its rules of engagement for that purpose remains the same.

"Firstly, we do not hope and expect that the situation would come where the rules of engagement come in play. Secondly, rules of engagement are constant, they don't change from one area to another. In essence it is wherever your right of self defence, if it is needed, then certain options are available," he said.

Joshi explained that India has a few interests in South China Sea, including freedom of navigation.

"In South China Sea what are our few interests, first is freedom of navigation which in a manner will impact on sovereignty issues and freedom of navigation is actually a derivative of maritime zone of each of the littoral who are engaged in dialogue and discussion," he said.

Asked about the balance of naval presence in the Eastern and Western Sea boards, he said that some of the recent inductions are deployed in the eastern side in Bay of Bengal only.

"Three recent inductions such as the Shivalik class frigates INS Sahyadri, Satpura and Shivalik were commissioned there only. INS Jalashwa, the biggest vessel we have after the aircraft carrier, is also deployed there. The nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra is operating from there and INS Arihant is also going to be there," he said.

The Eastern Sea Board takes care of China, while the Western Sea Board looks after Pakistan.

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