4:53 pm - Friday November 6, 2015

Chinese submarine docking in Karachi no threat to India

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Playing down its submarine’s docking in Pakistan’s Karachi port in May, China has said the movement of Chinese vessels was not directed against any third party and the PLA navy’s activities in the Indian Ocean were “open and transparent”.
Replying to questions about concerns in India over the docking of Chinese submarines in Colombo last year and in Karachi in May, Chinese Defence Spokesman Senior Colonel Yang Yujin said the movement of Chinese vessels was not directed against any third party.
Major Jiang Bin, Staff Officer of the Asian Affairs Bureau of the Chinese Defence Ministry, said, “About the PLA navy’s activities in the Indian Ocean, they are open and transparent activities. We have clearly stated to India and other countries in the region.”
Indian side has already extended the invitation to PLA Navy to attend the international fleet review in India in February 2016. This shows a lot of cooperation at the military level. Now the relationship between the two sides has become much more mature, he told a visiting Indian media delegation.
Chinese military officials also said Pakistan has been expressing concern over growing Sino-India ties and have sought clarification whether it will impact their “all- weather” bilateral ties.
“Frankly speaking Pakistan friends asked similar question we notice you are making lot of progress in relations with India, will this effect China-Pakistan relations,” Jiang said.
While Pakistan is a traditionally friendly country of China, Sino-India relations have been developing quite well over the years, especially after the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India last year and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to China this year, he said.
“After this bilateral relations are developing better and better,” Jiang, one of the officers handling India-China relations, said during a presentations by various Chinese military experts headed by Chinese military spokesman senior Colonel Yang to the resident Indian correspondents and members of visiting Indian media delegation.
The presentations yesterday by the Chinese military officials and experts for the first time highlighted the unease felt in Pakistan over the growing Sino-Indian relations, especially between the two militaries.
Playing down the impact of “all weather” China-Pakistan relations on Sino-India ties, Jiang said “our policy is that developing China Pakistan relations was never directed against India” and Beijing would like to serve as a bridge between New Delhi and Islamabad.
“We can serve as some kind of bridge to help both the sides to communicate with each other because we hope India and Pakistan solve their problems between themselves peacefully,” Jiang said, adding that it serves the common interest of the three countries.
“When some time India and Pakistan find difficult to talk to each other we can help convey the message. We have been doing that,” he said.
“Peaceful neighbourhood around China is good for our development, development and peaceful life of people in all the three countries,” he added.
During the course of the interaction, Chinese military experts also clarified about translation error in the White Paper issued by the PLA last month in which it said the land disputes are “smouldering”.
Without referencing India, the paper said that “certain disputes over land territory are still smouldering”.
One official clarified that the exact translation was that the border disputes are “still there”.
The White Paper mostly spoke about the wider role for the Chinese navy in expanding activities from its shores to the high seas.
Spokesman Yang said cooperation between India and Chinese military is growing.
Both the countries have set up consultation mechanism for the border issue. Border consultation at various levels is functioning, he said.
The two countries also have Special Representatives dialogue to resolve the border dispute.
In near future there will be direct links between general head quarters of the two militaries, Yang said.
Elaborating on the defence White Paper, he said China is facing severe traditional and non traditional threats.
“In traditional areas the Taiwan issue is yet to be resolved. China has not realised national reunification.
There are maritime disputes between China and some neighbouring countries. Some external powers are busy meddling in regional maritime disputes,” Yang said in apparent reference to US expanding its role in Asia Pacific.
“This is an arduous task for China to safeguard its sovereignty and maritime interests,” he said.
On the non traditional area, over 100 million Chinese travelled abroad last year and the Chinese Overseas investment has crossed over USD 100 billion expanding China’s role abroad, he said.

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