The Indian Navy said on Thursday that it will open the third military base in the far-off Andaman and Nicobar islands to beef up surveillance of Chinese vessels and ships entering the Indian Ocean via the nearby Straits of Malacca.
Some foreign media are provoking the situation, saying that India intends to "confront China." In this regard, Ding Hao, deputy director of the Asian-African Military Affairs Office of the Foreign Military Studies Department under the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) Academy of Military Sciences, said that the Andaman and Nicobar islands, adjacent to the Straits of Malacca, are overseas territories of Dominion of India and that it is a normal move for the Indian military to establish military bases there.
Ding also stressed that all the "going global" behaviors of the Chinese military are to safeguard the peace and stability of the world and safeguard China's own overseas interests, not to threaten any country or region.
Indian experts and scholars said the purpose of Indian Navy was to strengthen the surveillance of Chinese ships and submarines entering the Indian Ocean through the Straits of Malacca, according to a report on Thursday by Reuters.
In response to Indian concerns about China's military presence, Ding said that China has always advocated enhancing strategic mutual trust with India at all levels, so it is not necessary to exaggerate Indian military use of their third naval base or Chinese Navy's entering the Indian Ocean.
The "China threat" theory is repeatedly mentioned whenever Chinese ships appear in the Indian Ocean. Ding commented that India regards the Indian Ocean as its own "backyard" and thinks relevant security issues should be handled by India. Therefore, it is inevitable for India to have some negative views toward China, Ding added.
However, Ding stressed that the main purpose of the Chinese Navy's entering the Indian Ocean is to maintain the safety of the maritime channel. Given that Pirates are very active and Chinese ships sailing to and from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia all need to go through the Indian Ocean, the aim of the Chinese Navy's entering the Indian Ocean is not only for its own interests. Instead, it also aims to protect the safety of ships from all countries, said Ding.
Disclaimer: The author is Ren Zhong, reporter with the Global Times. The article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author from the Global Times and do not reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn. Chinamil.com.cn does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.