New Delhi: First ‘Hindi-Chini Vai Vai’ than blatant aggression by China which soon escalated to a full blown war leading to an utter humiliation of India in the hands of Chinese in the 60’s.
After PM Modi visited Beijing raising hopes for a renewed India-China relationship, alarm has been sounded in Indian defence circle as Chinese submarines have now reportedly begun to make forays to even Karachi after making similar visits to Colombo over the last one year, sparking further concerns.
This is yet another indicator of the fast transformation of the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N), which operated close to its shores for long, into a “blue-water force with long legs” that is expanding its presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
In the latest incident, the PLA-N’s conventional Yuan-class 335 submarine entered the Karachi port on May 22 after crossing the Arabian Sea close to the Indian waters. After docking there for replenishment for about a week, it set sail again, much like the visits of Chinese submarines to Colombo since September last year.
Though India has been closely tracking this increased activity of Chinese warships and submarines in the IOR, it can do little since international waters or the “global commons” are open to all. “Four of our warships, after all, are also currently in the South China Sea on a long overseas deployment,” said an official. But this first-ever reported visit of a Chinese submarine to Pakistan does up the stakes in the IOR, where India and China are jostling for the same strategic space.