HomeIndiaIndia and the worldIndia Wary As Chinese Vessel Parks Itself Off Vizag Coast

India Wary As Chinese Vessel Parks Itself Off Vizag Coast

India Wary As Chinese Vessel Parks Itself Off Vizag Coast

India Wary As Chinese Vessel Parks Itself Off Vizag Coast

India-West News Desk

NEW DELHI – Within days of India saying it was going to test fire the Agni-5 missile, a Chinese research vessel was sighted off India’s eastern seaboard and is currently anchored in international waters off the Indian coastline.

The Chinese ship, Xian Yang Hong 01, India said, is now less than 260 nautical miles off the coast of Visakhapatnam. Incidentally, that’s where India bases its three nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, arguably the most sensitive weapons systems in India’s arsenal.

China has been monitoring India’s activities, including missile tests off the eastern seaboard. Hence, the positioning of Xiang Yang Hong 01, a 4,813-tonne research vessel, and the timing has raised suspicion. NDTV reported the ship has remote sensing equipment to detect sub-surface acoustic signatures. These sounds can be detected through the ship’s sonar and the buoys it deploys, and this may be used to record the acoustic footprints of submarines and possible underwater launches. This information is nothing less than an intelligence goldmine.

The developments come weeks after another Chinese ship of the same class set off alarm bells in New Delhi.

The Xiang Yang Hong 03, which is now off the Sri Lankan coast and is surveying the region, docked in the Maldives last month. This came amid strained ties between New Delhi and Male after Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu asked Indian troops to leave. Ties between India and the Maldives have touched an all-time low after Muizzu took over as President last year. Following a visit to Beijing, where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, Muizzu had said, “We may be small, but this doesn’t give them the license to bully us.” The remark, which did not name any country, was seen as a swipe in India.

India’s concerns, however, were not limited to the waters of the Maldives. The ship has been moving in the waters between the Maldives and Sri Lanka in a zigzag manner, NDTV reported. 

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