Indian warship drives away Chinese vessel: reports

NEW DELHI, India (AFP) — India’s Navy chief said Tuesday that an unauthorized Chinese vessel had entered its waters in the strategic Indian Ocean Region in September, with media reports suggesting New Delhi deployed a warship to repel the vessel.

India is wary of Chinese clout in the Indian Ocean Region — one of the busiest maritime routes in the world — which it considers to be in its sphere of influence.

The Chinese research vessel, Shi Yan 1, was spotted in September in India’s exclusive economic zone in the Andaman Sea, within 200 nautical miles from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are an Indian archipelago.

“Our stand is that if you have to do anything in our EEZ (exclusive economic zone), you have to notify us and take permission,” Admiral Karambir Singh told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the intrusion.

Indian media reports said the Navy’s maritime surveillance aircraft had spotted the vessel in the region, prompting the Navy to send a warship that pushed it away.

United Nations conventions grant sovereign rights to countries to explore and manage natural resources in its exclusive economic zone that extends up to 200 nautical miles from the coast.

Singh said the Navy is “constantly watching” Chinese movement in the region.

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