Skip to comments.The Indian Navy in the South China Sea: Beijing’s Unwelcome Escort
Posted on 06/23/2012 10:04:32 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
Just when external affairs minister S. M. Krishna was affirming in Indias right to freedom of navigation in Washington, news reports from Shanghai say China is testing Delhis political will to exercise this right in the South China Sea.
Krishnas affirmation was part of the India-U.S. Strategic dialogue this week in Washington. Meanwhile, an Indian naval contingent, on an extended operational deployment in the South China Sea during the last two months, has called in at the Shanghai port on its way home.
According to reports from Shanghai, when the Indian naval squadron led by INS Shivalik was on its way to South Korea from the Philippines, the Peoples Liberation Army Navy provided an unwanted escort.
Although the Indian ships were in international waters, a Chinese frigate sent a message welcoming the contingent to the South China Sea and sailed along for the next 12 hours.
Last September, it might be recalled, a caller identifying himself as representing the Chinese navy told the Indian naval squadron sailing off the Vietnamese coast that it was in Chinas territorial waters.
The unwelcome escort this year reflects the PLANs hardening attitude to Indias naval presence in South China Sea. The Indian Navy has been flying the flag in these waters since 2000.
The PLANs challenge to India was presented in a typical and exquisite Chinese style. In welcoming and escorting the Indian naval unit, the PLAN was showing India its velvet covered fist.
The message is this: Nice to see you here, but you are in our territorial waters and within them there is no right to freedom of navigation for military vessels. You are here at our sufferance.
In a well-calibrated escalation, Beijing is testing Indias rhetoric on freedom of navigation and the political will in Delhi to defend its proclaimed rights in the South China Sea and sustain a forward naval presence in the Western Pacific.
Beijings challenge to India comes amidst the deepening conflict between China and its maritime neighboursespecially Vietnam and the Philippinesin the South China.
The Indian naval contingent had called on ports in both the Philippines and Vietnam in its current tour of the South China Sea.
The PLANs sparring with the Indian Navy comes at a moment when the tension between the United States and China are boiling over in East Asias waters.
Indias decision apparently commercial to end the drilling for oil in an offshore block in Vietnams waters might have sent the wrong signal to PLAN. Beijing might be betting that with a little more pressure, Delhi might scale down its strategic ambitions in the South China Sea.
To be sure, the Indian Navy has the potentialin partnership with other maritime powers to our secure national interests in the South China Sea.
But no one is betting that the UPA government which has reduced the Delhi Durbar to a shambles has the political will to stand up to Chinese pressures.
Not an insignificant force.
Not at all insignificant.
India will be the world's next nation to gain "superpower" status... and I like them...
If I were China I would be very careful screwing around with India.
India will not become a superpower.
The GDP growth rate of India has been sharply declining since 2010, it is now at 5.3%. This is not nearly good enough.
India’s GDP(PPP) per capita is $3,700. That is lower than many third world African nations.
37% of Indians live below the national poverty line.
East Sea ping....
I read somewhere that the indian armed forces were hesitant to cozy up with the u s. I wonder if that’s going to change?
India has a lot of people. What was it for the Soviet Union?
Census shows 1 in 2 people are poor or low-income ... - USA Today
US poor at 33%?
Dec 15, 2011 Doing that helped push the number of people below 200 percent of the poverty level up from 104 million, or 1 in 3 Americans, that was officially ...
In 1990 the Soviet Union had a GDP of $1.695 Trillion with a population of 293 Million. That is a GDP per capita of $5,800.
My source is “The World Economy: Historical Statistics” by Angus Maddison.
Didn’t hear about India withdrawing from the oil exploration project from Vietnam. This very likely send the wrong signals to the Chi-coms. If they see any perceived weakness, the bullies and tyrants are likely to try and take advantage of it.
The European Union is equivalent with the US in GDP, yet they aren’t a superpower. An important factor is how much money a country wants to invest in its military and how much influence it wants to have in the world. India is still about one third the GDP of the US and EU, but I think they will invest heavily in their military considering their neighbors. It may not be in their best interest to be a superpower, but they could be a strong regional power and an important ally.
Didnt hear about India withdrawing from the oil exploration project from Vietnam. This very likely send the wrong signals to the Chi-coms. If they see any perceived weakness, the bullies and tyrants are likely to try and take advantage of it.
Concur 100%! Hell, it sends ME the wrong message. Talk about a gutless move.
The unarticulated major theme of this entire article is that Bush/Obama has each in his own way conspired to grant China naval hegemony over the vast stretch of ocean that starts north of Japan and ends south of Australia. With Bush, it began with his blinking at the forcing down of a P-3 early on in his Presidency, and with Obama, it is his heartfelt aim to bring the US down a peg or two. This is maritime territory we mastered at the cost of much blood and treasure during WWII, and these two clowns just give it away — for free! Great work, both of you, globalist asshats! (And, as for our military “leaders?” What leaders (above the rank of O-6, that is?) Oh, and where is Congress on all this? Keystone coppery on all fronts.
Nice looking vessel.
If all the countries of southeast asia plus japan and korea sailed their war ships along the same route as the the Indians — they would do some good.
“The GDP growth rate of India has been sharply declining since 2010, it is now at 5.3%. This is not nearly good enough.”
The 5.3% is only for the first three months of this year. The monsoon season is usually when the growth picks up. From 2012 India has been growing at an average 7% (at a time when EU and US have shrinking economies). You are saying that’s not good enough? Indian economic growth has dropped relative to its own rate at 9% before 2012. Its still WAY ahead compare the negative growth experience by US and EU.