A Chinese "spy ship," the 'Hai Yang Shi You,' has been spotted near the Indian coast, about 161 nautical miles off the coast of Paradip in Odisha on Sunday. The vessel, classified as a "research vessel," is tasked with gathering data on the depth and salinity of parts of the Bay of Bengal. The data collected will be particularly useful for submarine activity in the future.
According to a report in Times Now, the ship is modern, built in Tianjin in 2015, and weighs about 2,000 tonnes. The Chinese navy regularly sends these types of ships into the Indian Ocean, and currently, there are two other research vessels in the area.
Chinese Naval Ships in the Indian Ocean
The 'Nanning,' a Chinese destroyer commissioned just two years ago, is located in the Gulf of Aden. Weighing over 7,500 tonnes, it is a heavily armed top-of-the-line warship. Another "research vessel," the 'Da Yang Hao,' is also in the Indian Ocean. A four-year-old ship, it was off Durban in South Africa on March 27 and has just left Mauritius. A third "research vessel," the 'Xian Yang Hong,' was opposite Port Elizabeth on March 27 and is leaving Cape Town for Singapore. This modern ship was built in 2016 and weighs about 1,600 tonnes.
Heightened Diplomatic Activity
The Chinese vessel 'Yung Wang 5' had docked in the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota last August. The Hambantota port was built by the Chinese in the island nation. The ship's docking had led to heightened diplomatic activity between India and Sri Lanka. It is important to note that China has significant strategic and economic interests in the Indian Ocean, and its presence in the region is a source of concern for India.
Implications for India
The presence of Chinese naval vessels and "research vessels" in the Indian Ocean has significant implications for India's security. China's expanding naval presence in the region is seen as a challenge to India's traditional dominance in the Indian Ocean.
It is also believed that China is using its "research vessels" to gather strategic information, including mapping the ocean floor, which could be used in the event of a future conflict. India has been strengthening its maritime capabilities to counter China's growing influence in the region, including deploying warships and submarines in the Indian Ocean.
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