Indian Navy ships taking part in maritime exercise in the South China Sea is “a matter of concern”, a senior Chinese official said in Delhi on Thursday night, a day after four naval vessels set sail for participating in Malabar exercise with the United States and Japan.
The Chinese official, who did not want to be identified, alleged that Western powers are using the colonial tactics of “divide and rule”.
“When there is some trouble in the South China Sea, India is worried. When Indian ships participate in maritime exercises in the South China Sea, of course China will show concern,” the official told a select group of media persons.
The remarks come ahead of the President’s visit to China, where he is expected to raise issues of political, regional and strategic significance including China’s efforts to block India’s bid at the United Nations to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar banned as well as India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, both ostensibly at the behest of Pakistan .
On May 24 Mukherjee is scheduled to land in Guangzhou, one of China’s most prosperous regions, to seek to attract business and investments. He will be in Beijing on May 25-27 for political dialogue and meetings with Peking University.
The Chinese leadership has gone an extra mile for the President, with plans for several official banquets and meetings.
Guided missile stealth frigates INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri; INS Shakti, a sophisticated fleet support ship; and INS Kirch, a guided missile corvette, had set sail on Wednesday on a two-and-a-half month long operational deployment to the South China Sea and North West Pacific.