PLA plays down Indian Ocean visits

Indian Ocean Region is a key political battle ground.

PLA plays down Indian Ocean visits, but says ocean not India’s backyard

In an interaction with Indian reporters in Beijing, Chinese officials said they believed that India and China needed to expand military ties.

Ananth Krishnan

As the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy expands its profile in the Indian Ocean with recent submarine visits to Sri Lanka and more recently Pakistan, its officials have moved to assuage India’s concerns by emphasising its motivations were driven by trade and security and not aimed at India, although with one important caveat: it would be a mistake for New Delhi to consider the ocean’s international waters as “its backyard”.

In an interaction with visiting Indian reporters in Beijing, officials from the Chinese Defence Ministry and the PLA’s top think-tanks, such as the National Defence University, PLA Air Force Command Academy and PLA Navy Academic Institute said they believed that India and China needed to expand military ties to reduce strategic mistrust, and bolster exercises between the armies, navies and air force.

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