Indian military drills in the Indian Ocean targeting China were irresponsible and a violation of International Law, Chinese experts said.
The recent military exercise conducted in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was intended to counter China’s maritime movements in the Indian Ocean region, Times of India reported Friday.
The “Defense of A&N Islands Exercise,” conducted between November 20 and 24, included fighters, heavy-lift transport aircraft, warships, infantry combat vehicles, special forces and regular troops, according to the newspaper’s report.
The exercise could be used to design a response to the regular appearance of “Chinese nuclear and conventional submarines” in the Indian Ocean, the report said.
Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, told Global Times the military drill targeting China’s right of passage in international waters was irresponsible and narrow-minded, as China has never threatened India’s security,
“Chinese vessels including submarines entering the Indian Ocean are completely reasonable and lawful. China’s future actions in the Indian Ocean will not be affected by India,” Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday.
India’s navy regularly deploys its Poseidon-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and spy drones stationed on the Andaman and Nicobar islands to monitor movements of Chinese ships, said Times of India.
In recent years, China deployed vessels to conduct anti-piracy patrols and escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, as requested by other nations and to meet its UN obligations, noted Li.
“It should be stressed that the Indian Ocean belongs to all mankind, and India’s actions are an attempt to turn the ocean into India’s territorial waters, which is a violation of International Law,” Li said.
Meanwhile, India’s army has also ramped up it road building along the Sino-Indian border and purchased road laying machinery, dual track mine detectors and excavators aiming at providing “swift movement of troops whenever necessary,” according to report of the Indian news agency PTI.
Zhao said that India’s confrontational ways of dealing with China are not likely to soften any time soon, and the two countries should enhance communication to develop more mutual trust.