Indian Navy keeping a close watch on China’s port projects in Sri Lanka

With the Chinese getting new port projects in Sri Lanka, a top Indian Navy officer said it "could pose a threat" to Indian interests in the region and there is a need to keep a close watch on such activities

Jun 20, 2021
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Indian Navy ships (File)

With the Chinese getting new port projects in Sri Lanka, a top Indian Navy officer said it "could pose a threat" to Indian interests in the region and there is a need to keep a close watch on such activities.

In an interview with ANI, Indian Navy vice-chief vice-admiral G Ashok Kumar said it was very well prepared to secure the maritime boundaries of the country and there is no way anyone can surprise his country.

"If you want to analyze 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 said on Friday, responding to a query on whether China's getting hold of a new port in Sri Lanka could pose a threat to India.

Asked if the Indian Navy was keeping a close watch on such activities, he said, "Yes, on the entire region." The interview was published in Daily Mirror in Sri Lanka. 

The Chinese have been making inroads in Sri Lanka, where they have entered into a joint venture with the government to construct a reclaimed port city near Colombo.
Before that, the Chinese gained control over the Hambantota port, in Sri Lanka’s southern region, on which they have a 99-year lease. 

Oon whether the Chinese could surprise India through the sea route as they did along the northern waters last year, he said after the 26/11 attack on Mumbai, India had taken several steps like installation of coastal security network and had enhanced surveillance capabilities.

"The chances of we getting surprised in the maritime domain to have reduced... we are much better prepared today than what we were a decade ago," he said.

(SAM)