To track the Chinese ships and submarines entering the Indian Ocean, India will open its third navy base in the strategically important Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Thursday. Military officials and experts said that through this, the Chinese submarines and vessels entering the Indian Ocean through the nearby Malacca Strait can be monitored.
New Delhi is cautious on presence of Chinese navy in India’s neighborhood. Apart from this, China is building a network of commercial ports from Sri Lanka to Pakistan. India sees it as a military project rather than a military because New Delhi is feared that China can use these ports for its navy.
To counter China’s challenges, the Indian military has long been focusing on Andaman, which is located near the entrance of the Malacca Strait. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in 2014, India has deployed ships and aircraft here under a strong policy.
Navy said in a statement that the new base INS Kohasa will be dedicated to Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba. It is located about 300 kilometers north of Port Blair.
It is the third base of the Navy in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There is a 1,000 meter long runway used for helicopters and dornier surveillance aircraft. Navy spokesman Capt DK Sharma said that there is a plan to increase the runway to 3,000 meters so that it can be used for warfare.
Every year, about 1, 20,000 ships pass through the Indian Ocean, and about 70,000 of them pass through Malacca Strait. Former Navy Commodore Anil Jai Singh said, “China’s presence is increasingly growing. If we really have to keep an eye on the Chinese presence then we need to make adequate preparation in Andaman Island. ” He said that if you have an air base then you will be able to cover a large area. Singh expressed hope that in the next phase, the Navy will deploy more ships here permanently.
India is very cautious about China’s activities in the Indian Ocean. In 2014, China’s submarine stood on the Colombo port of Sri Lanka. The Modi government immediately raised this issue in front of Sri Lankan officials.
India is trying to counter China’s expansionist diplomacy in the region. Actually, China is on the aggressive policy of increasing its influence in the region.
This week, Defense officials of India have to have talks with Defense Minister Maria Ahmed Didi of the Maldives. After the departure of the Chinese-pro-government in the Maldives last year, New Delhi is strategically important in trying to strengthen relations with this small island country.