Amid strained bilateral ties between India and China over tensions at the LAC, the Indian Navy closely tracked Chinese Yuan Wang-class research vessel which had entered Indian waters from the Strait of Malacca in August.
China’s growing footprint in the Indian Ocean Region is a cause of concern for India as it perceives the region as its backyard.
The research vessel was constantly tracked by Indian Navy warships deployed there in the region and it returned to China a few days ago after being under the constant watch of Indian Navy vessels.
Entered Indian waters from the Strait of Malacca
From December 2019 to January 2020, about four to six Chinese research vessels were spotted in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The presence of the research vessels raises security concerns as analysts believe that they could be surveying the characteristics of the seawater so as to improve their submarine warfare capabilities.
Since the violent Galwan Valley clash, Indian Navy has increased its surveillance mission and beefed up operational deployment in the IOR in June after the clash in Galwan Valley.
Beijing’s belligerence has triggered a change in geopolitics with many countries forming alliances against the Communist nation.
QUAD, Indo-Pacific an eyesore for China
China’s aggressive behaviour in the South China Sea; Hong Kong; Taiwan; trade and technology disputes with the U.S.; serious tensions with Australia; India-China border standoff and Bhutan has triggered a change in geopolitics with many like-minded countries forming alliances against the Communist nation.
Assertive China has brought the Quad, composed of the USA, India, Japan and Australia, closer to reality and it is set to become an effective coalition to counter Beijing.
The Indo-Pacific strategy got a much-needed boost after the German government announced that it will work to maintain rules-based order together with partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
The US has been pushing for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific, a move which has rattled China forcing it to dedicate lengthy editorials in the government-run media and think tanks saying that New Delhi will become a tool for the US agenda in the region.