India worried over China’s presence in Indian Ocean: Chinese media
India is worried over losing its influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and it showed when it reportedly deployed 50 warships there to monitor the Chinese Navy's activities, China's Global Times said on Tuesday, May 8.
It also cited a report by Hindustan Times which quoted India's : "Over the last decade, China has developed the capacity to operate its warships at a great distance from its shores and for long periods of time," Indian media Hindustan Times reported, citing Sunil Lanba, India's chief of naval staff, as saying.
Lanba said the Indian Navy was "keeping a sharp eye on the pattern and periodicity of extra-regional deployments" in the Indian Ocean, the report said, also adding him saying that a fleet of 50 combat-ready Indian warships was carrying out surveillance round the clock. Lanba also said that China is here to stay in the Indian Ocean and its military activity has made the concerns over its intent in the region deep.
Speaking on the issue, an expert at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations said India has always been sensitive towards China's military activity in the Indian Ocean for it feels Beijing's presence there would curb its influence there, the Global Times report said.
The Chinese expert, however, disagreed with the Hindustan Times report which said China was using "debt-trap diplomacy" to solidify its grip on countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Maldives to gain territorial influence.
He said China always follows the principle of mutual benefit and even has discharged big debts of some poor South Asian countries, the Global Times report added.
He also said that though India has adjusted its China policy and relations between the two neighbours have improved, yet the onus lied on India to give wings to its words on promoting relations with China.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping for informal yet significant talks in Wuhan city in central-eastern China's Hubei province on April 27 and 28. The two spoke on a range of issues including border tension, trade, anti-terrorist efforts and people-to-people contacts.
The Global Times also said the wake of the meeting that India and China should overcome competition and find a common ground to fight against protectionism, which Donald Trump's United States has been promoting.