China is spending huge sums of money on military capability, the Navy Chief said. (File)
China has added 80 new ships in the last five years to bolster its naval capability and the Chinese Navy is a force which is “here to stay”, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said on Wednesday, amid concerns over Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
Admiral Lanba, while participating in a panel discussion at the Raisina Dialogue along with top Navy officials from the US, France, Japan and Australia, also said no navy has grown so rapidly in the last 200 years as the Chinese Navy.
“There is no doubt that they are spending a huge sum of money in developing their military capability, modernizing their forces, and modernising their command structure,” Admiral Lanba said.
“Chinese Navy is a force and it is a force that is here to stay,” he said.
Since 2008, there has been a permanent presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean region in the form of an anti-piracy escort force, he said.
At any given time, there are six to eight Chinese Navy ships in the northern part of the Indian ocean, the Indian Navy chief said.
“Also, two years ago they commissioned their first overseas facility or base in Djibouti. The stated aim of this deployment is to protect their trade which is flowing through this area from piracy. They have deployed submarines for anti-piracy operations which is the most unlikely platform to be used for this role,” he said.
Admiral Philip S Davidson,…