In the wake of the clash with Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on June 15, India sent a Navy warship to the South China Sea, annoying Beijing, government sources said.
China has raised objection to India’s presence in the region China considers to be a part of its territorial waters.
The Indian move came after 20 soldiers were killed in Galwan on June 15 in a skirmish with the People’s Liberation Army of China in East Ladakh. India has been asking Beijing to disengage from the LAC and demanding status quo ante of February.
“Soon after the Galwan clash broke out in which 20 of our soldiers were killed, the Indian Navy deployed one of its frontline warship to the South China Sea where the People’s Liberation Army’s Navy objects to the presence of any other force claiming the majority of the waters as part of its territory,” government sources said, reported ANI.
China, which does not like the presence of any other nation there, complained to India about the presence of the Indian warship during diplomatic level talks, the sources said.
China has been expanding its influence in the South China Sea for over a decade by building artificial islands and through military presence. America has its destroyers and frigates stationed there to keep a check on China. The Indian warship has been maintaining contact with the American vessels, the sources said.
India kept the movement of the warship secret, ANI quoted government sources as saying.
India has also increased the presence of its Navy along the Malacca Straits near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to keep a watch on the movements of the Chinese Navy, sources said. Many Chinese vessels travel through this route with oil and other shipments.
The Navy is also tracking Chinese vessels in the Indian Ocean near Djibouti to protect national interest, the government sources said.