China’s presence in SL could pose a threat to Indian interests: Indian Navy

With the Chinese Navy getting new port projects in Sri Lanka, a top Indian Navy officer said that it ‘could pose a threat’ to Indian interests in the region and there is a need to keep a close watch on such activities, Asia News International (ANI) reported today (19).

In an interview with ANI, Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar said the Indian Navy is very well prepared to secure the maritime boundaries of the country.

“If you want to analyse whether it is a threat or not, it is a very difficult question. But the fact that when somebody is external to the region starts showing so much interest even though they might have rational reasons to do so as the majority of their energy sources pass through this region … Is it a logical thing for nations to do, yes? Could that pose a threat to us, it could. We just need to ensure that it is being closely watched,” he told ANI on Friday (18), responding to a query on whether China’s getting hold of a new port in Sri Lanka could pose a threat to India.

When asked if the Indian Navy was keeping a close watch on such activities, he said, “Yes, in the entire region.”

Responding to a query on whether the Chinese could surprise India through the sea route, he said that after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, India had taken a number of steps like installation of the coastal security network and had enhanced surveillance capabilities.

“The chances of India getting surprised in the maritime domain to have reduced… we are much better prepared today than what we were a decade ago,” the Vice Admiral said.

He said that the Indian Navy is a capability-driven force and more strength would be added to it in the form of new assets in the near future.