Chinese warship confronts Indian naval ship: Report
New Delhi: The Indian and Chinese navies were involved in a face-off in the disputed South China Sea. A Chinese warship confronted an Indian naval vessel as it left Vietnamese waters in July but the Indian Navy has denied the reports.
According to reports a Chinese warship, which remains unidentified, confronted India’s INS Airawat, an amphibious assault vessel, and asked the ship to identify itself and explain its presence in the South China. London-based Financial Times reported that the Indian warship was in international waters after completing a scheduled port call in Vietnam.
Government sources told CNN-IBN that the incident took place on July 22 when INS Airavat ship was 45 nautical miles from the Vietnamese coast and heading towards the Port of Haiphaong. An unidentified caller who claimed to be from the Chinese navy but was speaking in English told INS Airavat that the Indian ship was entering Chinese waters and they must leave.
The Indian ship did not respond as there was no Chinese vessel anywhere on the horizon, sources said.
According to the paper the actions of the Chinese warship is the latest example of Beijing’s assertiveness which had irked India and Vietnam.
China claimed that South China Sea in its entirety, rejecting claims by other nations like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan over the resource rich region.
The paper said that Vietnamese foreign ministry has acknowledged that the Indian warship had visited the country from July 19-22 but said, it had no information about the incident.
Financial Times said, that Chinese defence and foreign ministries declined comment as did the Indian government.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently condemned acts of intimidation in the international waters in an apparent reference to mounting tensions in the South China Sea.
A Pentagon report last week had said China was rapidly building up its surface and underwater naval capabilities as it places growing priority on securing shipping lanes and mineral rich areas in South China Sea.
(With additional information from PTI)