India working on setting up direct naval contact with China
Posted On: Dec 03, 2011
NEW DELHI (PTI): With an aim of averting military confrontations on high seas, India is working on establishing a mechanism of direct contact with the navies of various countries, including China with which a face-off was encountered a few months back.
The mechanism could involve a communication line like hotline between senior officers of the Navies akin to that between armies.
"As far as the face-to-face meetings are concerned, it makes some sense as hotlines are there between DGMOs of our country and other countries," Indian Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told a press conference here.
"These issues would be taken up with countries with whom there is a possibility of a misunderstanding. It is under examination of the Government," he said when asked if such a protocol was in the offing with China.
Sources later said China is one of the countries with which India plans to have such a mechanism and the aim is to avert military confrontation due to misunderstandings.
The initiative assumes significance considering an incident a few months back in South China Sea when Indian Naval warship INS Airavat was reportedly asked by Chinese Navy to leave the maritime area.
In another incident, INS Godavari and Pakistani warship Babur were involved in a face-off in the Gulf of Aden earlier this year while rescuing a pirated vessel there.
Verma said such an arrangement existed between the Navies of the US and the erstwhile USSR during the Cold War era.
Answering a query on the security arrangements for the Indian assets in the South China sea, he said, "If there is a situation, it would be looked into."
On the sovereignty issues between the countries around the South China Sea, Verma said they have to find a peaceful solution as a conflict situation there can have global ramifications.
Issues over the control of natural reserves in South China Sea have led to tension between China and Vietnam and Beijing had even objected to oil exploration activities by Indian companies with Vietnam saying the territory belonged to it.
"When I talked about the volatility in South China sea, the inference was that the problem should be solved in a peaceful manner. In case it doesn't happen. If a conflict situation emerges, it has ramifications over the globe," Verma said here.
Wherever sovereignty issues are involved, it has always been that nations concerned should get together and find a solution, he advised.
Asked to react on Chinese assertions that it would not accept any external intervention for resolving the sovereignty issue, Verma said, "Wherever there is a situation and whatever helps to defuse that situation and solution emerges, that is a good option. Ideally if the concerned nations can find a solution, that is good."
India working on setting up direct naval contact with China - Brahmand.com