Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Wednesday raised a red flag over China's heightened activity in the Indian Ocean region, saying the East Asian neighbor is enhancing its economic and militarily capabilities rapidly.
The Chief of Naval Staff said there have been frequent instances of transgression by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) across the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This, as well as last year's Doklam crisis, is “an indication of increasing assertiveness of China”.
Admiral Sunil Lanba's comment follows a fast paced development in the Eastern Indian Ocean, where Indian Navy deployed at least eight warships to keep an eye on Chinese naval forces that conducted a military drill in the open sea.
“Recent developments (with regard to China) have underscored the vulnerability of the Siliguri Corridor,” Admiral Lanba said.
The Siliguri Corridor, also known as the Chicken's Neck, is a narrow stretch of land that links the northeastern states with the rest of India.
In the backdrop of Chinese military drill in Eastern Indian Ocean, news agency PTI quoted some government sources as saying that no Chinese warship was deployed close to the waters of the Maldives since political turmoil broke out in the island-nation.
India continues to have a significant presence in critical sea lanes in the Indian Ocean region, government sources said. However, a Chinese destroyer and a frigate had crossed into the Eastern Indian Ocean through the Sunda Strait and exited the Indian Ocean through the Lombok Strait while heading towards the South China Sea a few days ago, they said.