The Indian Navy is monitoring the developments in West Asia and also keeping a sharp watch on the Chinese Navy’s activities in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by the hour, a top Navy officer said on Wednesday in the context of the escalating Hamas-Israel conflict.
Replying to a host of questions in a session at the Global Maritime India Summit 2023 here, Vice Admiral Dinesh Tripathi, who heads the crucial Western Naval Command, said the Navy is fully aware of Chinese activities in the IOR or the possible ripple effects of happenings in West Asia.
“There is constantly at this point of time there is someone in the naval headquarters or the command headquarters working on what could happen after whatever is happening in West Asia (a reference to the Hamas-Israel conflict),” he said.
The vice admiral said as far as the Chinese are concerned, we are keeping a sharp watch on whatever they are doing in the South China Sea.
“In the Indian Ocean, we are keeping a sharp watch as to where their research ship, spy ship, satellite tracking ship, warships (are) wherever they are by the hour,” Vice Admiral Tripathi said while replying to questions.
Earlier speaking at the event, the senior naval commander also said that piracy has been one of the constant challenges in the last 10-15 years, “It is largely contained through international cooperation and coordination,” he added.
Nityanand Rai, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, said with India’s growing stature, its responsibility in the Indian Ocean is also increasing.
On the occasion, S Paramesh, Additional Director General, of the Indian Coast Guard, emphasised collectively increasing the sharing of information for better threat assessment and coordinated response.
“Investments in technologies like satellite surveillance and unmanned drones will greatly enhance maritime security efforts,” Mr Paramesh said.
Hostilities between Israel and Hamas began after armed Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip launched an unprecedented attack on Israel by land, air, and sea on October 7. Since the start of hostilities, as many as 2,778 Palestinians have been killed.
Media reports have cited official Israeli sources as saying that at least 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel.
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