The Chinese Navy submarine was spotted near the Indian coast about 300 nautical miles off Kanyakumari, Times Now reported citing intelligence sources.
The presence of the Yuan class diesel-electric attack boat comes while the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are involved in a face-off in Doklam in the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction area.
The eyeball to eyeball moment has stretched for two months now. In the past Indian and Chinese troops would have less worrying faceoffs; just waving flags at each other and sometimes, ‘wrestling’ with each other. But there are about 3000 troops on both sides in Doklam and no diplomatic solution is evident. Diplomatic efforts to end the crisis have failed, so far.
During the past few months, forays into the Indian Ocean by Chinese submarines are on the rise.
On April 22, a Yuan class diesel-electric submarine was spotted in the Indian Ocean. This is one of the more modern and dependable Chinese submarines; they have a reputation of being “quiet.”
The Yuan class boat visited Karachi on May 26 and left on June 1 and then, again on July 11 for six days. Karachi is perhaps a natural destination for a Chinese submarine as Pakistan is a close ally. In recent times, Sri Lanka has not been keen to host Chinese submarines or as the Lankans say, submarines from any countries. The submarine was also accompanied by a PLA vessel.
The official reason for the presence of the PLA Navy has been “anti-piracy” missions. But surely, a submarine and one as advanced as this one isn’t the best way of fighting pirates off the coast of East Africa.
There is also increased activity in other border areas. The Chinese troops had entered Barahoti in the state of Uttarakhand but that was dismissed as just ‘soldiers coming in and going out.’ There is also an indication of increased activity by Chinese air force fighter planes in the airfields of Tibet, but there is usually a spike with the onset of summer.