Indian Ocean cannot be backyard of India, says China

(From Press Trust of India)
China recognises India’s special role in stabilising the strategic Indian Ocean region but the perception that it is India’s “backyard” may result in clashes, Chinese military officials and experts have cautioned.

Chinese navy's increasing presence in the Indian Ocean is part of PLA's new military strategy

Chinese navy’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean is part of PLA’s new military strategy

“The word backyard is not very appropriate to use for an open sea and international areas of sea,” Senior Captain Zhao Yi, associate professor of the Institute of Strategy in China’s National Defence University, said during a rare candid interaction with the resident Indian journalists in Beijing and a visiting Indian media delegation.

“I admit geographically speaking, India has a special role to play in stabilizing Indian Ocean and the South Asian region,” he said while replying to a question on rising concerns in India over the Chinese navy’s increasing forays into the Indian Ocean.

If India views the Indian Ocean as backyard, then how the navies from United States, Russia and Australia have free navigation in the Indian Ocean, he asked.

Citing the observations of a US researcher who predicted that Indian Ocean could be the focus of 21st century and as a result severe clashes could break out, Captain Zhao said though he did not agree with the American scholar, such a possibility cannot be “eliminated” if the Indian Ocean is continued to be perceived as India’s backyard.

Chinese navy’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean comes in the background of the release of a White Paper published by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently, outlining a new military strategy enhancing its navy’s duties for the first time to “open seas protection” far from its shores.
Also the presence of Chinese submarines at Colombo port last year and most recently in Karachi sparked concerns in India.

The interaction between the Indian media and a team of Chinese military experts headed by spokesman of the Chinese defence ministry, Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, arranged by the All China Journalists Association was aimed at promoting better understanding between the two countries as they seek to forge closer political, military and trade ties.

Elaborating on PLA Navy’s activities in Indian Ocean, Zhang Wei, researcher of the PLA Navy Academic Institute, said since 1985, Chinese navy ships visited lot of countries in the Indian Ocean region including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. More Chinese ships are crossing the Indian Ocean as it has become a major pipeline for trade for China, she said.

Also Chinese navy’s presence there is to protect the security of sea lines especially against piracy. The PLA navy provided escort services to over 6,000 ships in Gulf of Aden. Half of them were foreign vessels, Zhang said.

“So I do not agree that the presence of Chinese naval ship is expansion of the Chinese military,” Zhang said.

“The Chinese government has been very prudent in handling PLA navy’s navigation to the Indian Ocean. Most of time our submarines go to Indian Ocean, we diplomatically inform our neighbouring countries. We should enhance cooperation in order to enhance mutual trust at the level of military and government. By conducting trainings and mutual visits, mutual trust can be gained,” she said.

On the Malabar Exercises involving navies of India, the US, Japan and Australia, spokesman Yang said the exercises should be conducive to the region and should not violate interest of any third party.
On the establishment of Air Defence Identification Zone, (ADIZ) in the disputed South China Sea ,Senior Colonel Yang Yujie, director, PLA Air Force Command, said China did not properly convey its message of imposing in ADIZ in East China Sea when it was imposed in 2013.

Misunderstandings about Chinese ADIZ persisted even though more than 20 countries have imposed their own ADIZs.

While establishing an ADIZ in SCS is in the scope of China’s sovereign right, the situation in SCS at present is stable, Yang said. “We have the confidence and willingness to maintain stability and peace in SCS. That is why we did not come up with the decision to establish ADIZ in SCS,” she said.

Categories: China, South Asia, Top News

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  • Ramesh

    South china sea & East china sea is your backyard? if so then Indian ocean is our backyard we will decide who can pass through it.

  • Say hellotolife

    Does China admit that the same applies to china sea also which by mistake they have started considering it as chinese sea.
    I do not know what will happen about India’s ocean, but one thing is final China demise (and I must admit Asian demise along with it) will happen because of Chinese bullish attitude on China sea.
    China wake before its too late. Time have given you an opportunity to lead Asia, so behave like a responsible Asia (Like India did when she was the world leader centuries ago, India has many contribution to the Chinese society).

  • Julius Joseph

    What about the south china sea and other seas named with colloquial Chinese names.

  • Uday Mundlik

    In future Pakistan and sri Lanka is Chinese country’s.So india tackle this problem as considered as a example is Tibet.

  • Prashant

    Anybody looking to buy any Chinese goods should avoid them. These Chinese are making daily noises on different front. By buying Chinese goods, you are helping Chinese economically. Which is strengthening their aggression on borders and international forums.

    People please buy any goods from anywhere, but not from any Chinese company. In a way, you are buying the death tools for our own soldiers. Anyone having any doubt should check youtube for videos. Not only that, they are helping Pakistan in their defence programs and matters like Lakhwi’s bail.

    As we know, many companies do manufacture their product in China. But, when you buy an Apple, the largest part of the profit (97-99%) goes to Apple in USA, remaining 1-3% of the profit goes to China in the form of worker payment.

    But, when you buy a Chinese mobile, the whole profit goes to China. It is instead being used to build artificial island in South China Sea to capture the international water way and creating trouble for many peaceful nations like South Korea, Japan, Philipins, Vietnam, and even Malaysia.

    I am appealing you to be a patriotic and don’t buy any Chinese goods. Other may cost little more, but can’t you spend some extra bucks for the sake of our own country.

    Spread the message to every Indian to count the true potential of the protest against Chinese companies and their goods.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    India to even claim the “Indian Ocean” as her “backyard” is downright silly. The British named that ocean the “Indian ocean”, according the region called “India’. Her claim to that ocean falls apart by the presence of her neighbors including Pakistan (and her Gwadar Port that allows Chinese ships and subs dock in them). the court victories of Bangladesh over maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal, the claim by Sri Lanka of maritime waters that are 6 times the size of that island nation, to the claim of Australia and the Maldive nation. India is just one nation in that ocean and not the only nation.
    China to the US have a right to that ocean outside of the massive maritime trade routes used by nations in the Middle East to the Asia Pacific region
    Finally we must deal with the word “India” for that is the word that defines that ocean. It is a foreign word, alien to that nation. The real name of that nation which the Hindus call it, is “Bharat”, not India. The words “India” and “Hindu” were words most likely given by Alexander the Great, to the inhabitants around the “Indus” river. Both the words “India” and “Hindu” are linked to that river called “Indus”

    The local inhabitants of the nation we now call “India” call that land “Bharat” and the religion :”Sanatana Dharma” (eternal truth or law).
    Even the Mahatma’s definition of “India” is not the same as today, for his claim to “India’ included Pakistan and Bangladesh. Today Pakistan and Bangladesh DO NOT consider themselves part of India.

  • Khangress

    Same thing India should tell to China that South China sea is not your backyard bloody Chinese.We will do whatever we want there.Not a single word should be tolerated.

  • Sam Crosby

    I must say China is much worse and cunning than even Pakistan. They are slowly opening multiple fissure points for India. They are even funding terrorism in the name of Maoism to destabilize India and creating trouble in the India-Myanmar region. They even became a partner and protector of terror outfits like LeT and JeM when they opposed India in the UN and other international forums. Their hackers are supported by the Chinese Govt who are creating trouble the world over.

    Whatever they may say and do, one thing is clear that they DO NOT want a peaceful, stable and prosperous India or even Asia for that matter. They will do everything to create trouble and push things to a war like situation..

    If the Himalayas were not there, they would have walked over us a long time ago. The only good thing is they are already digging their own pit by not just bullying India but also creating trouble for all their neighbors. Their dream to control Asia or the whole world with their Aging population and unbrushed teeth will just get them more misery than the Yangtse.

    They forget to learn from history where CIA trained the taliban and finally the taliban turned against the US and the CIA. The same thing will happen to China, the same terrorist nation they support today will send suicide bombers to Biejing one day.

    Another hope for the world is Hong Kong, who’ll show the chinese to REVOLT and move the country towards DEMOCRACY. AND the final hope is the finaicial instability that is brewing within.


    Whatever happens the wily chinese will forever be a pain in INDIA”S BACKYARD.

  • bluedog

    If you’re unhappy with it’s current name, let’s rename the Indian Ocean the ‘West China Sea’.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    And if you are unhappy that India calls the Indian ocean her back yard maybe India should stop doing that. You see that is the point. Not the name of the ocean but India’s claim to it. I thought you would know the difference.

  • Dalit

    India is an Empire built by the British. There was no India before that. Indian Empire thinks Indian Ocean is their own but there are a lot of countries in its rim. India may have a unfair advantage because islands like Mauritius is in fact is an Indian State. It is time all Indian Ocean Rim Countries unite and stand up to the Sacred Bull the Indian Empire.

  • Rafasa Arandas

    This is from the same nation that claims the entirety of the South China Sea as belonging solely to it…

  • Alex Wijaya

    Can you? You and what navy? Do you think countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Myanmar will accept that? India is like a weak dog with loud bark.

  • vox3non

    Sigh… is it too much to hope for the Communist Party of China (CPC) to be thrown out without hurting China and its people? I fear that in its present course, the CPC will be bound to hit against something that will undo all the blood and sweat of the Chinese citizen.

  • bluedog

    Don’t understand your problem. If India sees the IO as its backyard, that does not represent a claim, simply a statement of self-evident geographical proximity. It’s not as though India is confecting stories about ancient and unverifiable claims to the IO, or building islands on reclaimed reefs in order to create an EEZ.
    We can leave that sort of thing to the Chinese.

  • Ramesh

    Weak dog but it can handle mad rat like China.

  • Umesh Kumar Bhattarai, PhD

    I think no countries including regional powers should impose authority at the international waters. Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) as accepted universally to include 200 miles from respective coastal area of any sea bound nation is fine to safe guard their motherland and use maritime resources for their benefit. ‘Gun-Boat Diplomacy’ as has been in practice to enhance naval fraternity among the nations is other connotation if China looks that way. Otherwise, the way China is imposing its will in South China Sea– how it can say Indian Ocean cannot be backyard of India? There should not be double standard as well.

  • China Lee

    The Dragon is coming through. Move aside India!

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Then we do not have to even discuss this for the geographical proximity of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldive nations, Australia to the expanding Chinese navy are simply claims. Leave it at that.

  • Kamath

    I don’t think Indian leaders ever called Indian Ocean as its back yard. It demanded that all powers should be bound by intonationall laws. I think you should go back to elementary books on world history, before you write this poppy-cock talk. For the past two millenniums, there was flourishing maritime trade in the Indian Ocean. Romans carried their goods and were trading in east coast of India. It was since then known as “mare Indicum”.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    My comment was in response to an article that stated China stated this. Then shouldn’t you send you wise thoughts to Beijing and see if they give a tuppence to your opinion of Roman history?

  • Naveen Kumar

    Ashoka had ruled most of the Indian sub-continent way back in 200 BC. India has established and been nurturing the trade route ( Spice Route) in the Indian Ocean right from Greek and roman times.

  • Dalit

    Ashoka started from North and came down south and entered the Land of Sinhala and that was his last step and went back with Buddhism. He did not rule much of the Indian subcontinent; just his route from North to South.. Even today the Indian Empire has trouble in Chattishshgar and other tribal lands in the Indian Sub Continent.

  • mingso

    I think you should handle Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka first; then China! By the way take care of your toilet sea first and foremost since human excrement is not a natural fertilizer!

  • Mohan2012

    Fair enough…..It is not “Indian Sea” so that world can afford for an irresponsible state as it is happening in South China Sea. People naturally will get worried if India starts assuming the Indian ocean as its back yard and start behaving the same way others behave in SCS. Whatever applies in SCS should not applicable anywhere else…LoL

  • Mohan2012

    Oh..Oh…why are the Chinese crying about toilet sea now…LoL

  • Mohan2012

    200 miles EEZ may be not safe…because nations can sell missiles which can travel upto 300 miles to anybody…with that being the case, no coastal part is safe till minimum 300 miles which is the case today. If not yet, no military subs/ships of other nation should be allowed travel within minimum of 350 miles without prior permission of the country near by as of today’s condition…but it is hard to achieve.

  • Mohan2012

    May be the assignment of moving Himalayan mountains should be given to Dragon itself…they never got a chance in several thousands of years because India’s neighbour was Tibet….and His Highness Dalai Lama considers India as his spiritual guru…..LoL

  • Umesh Kumar Bhattarai, PhD

    That’s fine!!

  • Gopi Krishnan

    The “British” named it Indian Ocean????? Wow! I’d request you to please go back and read thru thousands of history books/articles and on the notes from travelers from Magellen to Marco Polo to Alexander to Huen Tsang to Vasco da Gama (who preceded the English by well over 100 years)! Whether you like it or not, India was coveted because of the spices and Arabs have been trading for hundreds of years before the white colonials came in. The fleets of English, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish came to cut out the middle-man who was profiting massively from the trade. The Indian ocean has been there since millenia. Here’s just one interesting link

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    I did and here is a quote:
    “first attested 1515 in Modern Latin ( Oceanus Orientalis Indicus), named for India, which projects into it; earlier it was the Eastern Ocean, as opposed to the Western Ocean (Atlantic) before the Pacific was surmised.”

    Before 1515 it was known as the “Eastern Ocean”. (The Latin word for that Ocean was “Oceanus Orientalis Indicus). the English word was “Indian Ocean”
    NO map written by those in the Indian peninsula called that ocean “Indian ocean” before that.
    The word “India” and “Hindu” comes from the river INDUS.
    They mean nothing to those living in that land since the word “Bharat” was the name for what you call “India”, India’s constitution includes the word “Bharat” as her name. Bharat was a blind sage and gives its name to the Tamil Classical dance called “Bharatanatyam (dance of Bharata). The BJP is named Bharata Janata Party (not India Janata Party). I am sure this comes as a shock to you.
    Now here is another big shock for you.
    “Sanatana Darhma” is the name of the faith you call “Hinduism” which has no meaning. Sanatana Dharma” does. It means “eternal truth or eternal law”. It is a term for an umbrella of faiths.

  • Gyanendra Chaturvedi, Delhi

    Yes there was no India. From Christopher Columbus to Vasco-da-Gama were actually looking for Pakistan and British came out of Corporate-social-responsibility for upliftment of few poor princes to God-knows-where land. Ya there was No India before Brits invented it.

  • Umesh Kumar Bhattarai, PhD

    It does not matter who is speaking, it matters what he is speaking! I just highlighted international practice and naval tradition. Every thing should govern through Rule of Law so as international waters- I just meant that much- I have no intention to undermine anybody.

  • DavePh

    Don’t forget Burnard, your Sri Lanka is in India’s back yard…it won’t take much to cause a Tsunami there.

    And for the record, you need to stop this silly disinformation campaign, because India has always called IOR as collective wealth and not as India’s Ocean. This is true for South China Sea as well, we will sail in internation waters of South China Sea with impunity and explore Oil with Vietnam.

  • DavePh

    @Bluedog : This puppy Burnard is a India hater Sri Lankan convert, so take his comments with due note of that fact.

    For IO, its our back yard because anything happening there will have direct impact on our trade and commerce, we are and will remain the pre-eminent power in IOR, China is free to travel in the international waters and we will do so in South China Seas.

  • DavePh

    Burnard, dude you quote from Wikipedia, make silly and stupid statement, make motivated and unsubstantiated claims, play joker and then expect that you will not be challenged? When you know very well that India never claimed IOR as it’s back yard, but yes we have vital interests and we will do what needs to be done, including sinking Sri Lanka if it keeps hobnobbing with

  • DavePh

    Burnard, it may shock you that the Indian Ocean in Hindi is called “Hindi Maha Sagar” since medieval times, so called by the residents of Bharat or India as you converts like to call it. Which meas “Hindi’s Great Ocean”. In ancient times when Bharat Varsha or Jambu Dweep was not corrupted by invaders, it’s Sanskrit name was “Jambu Dweep (island) Maha Sagar” to it’s residents. That is because India is known to be actually an island continent whose tectonic plates are moving Northwards and thus joined the Asian continent. So before you go around cooking your own goose, stop and do more research.

    You see morons always think that only when they found something it came into existence, so was the case with the Western sea faring nations, everything East of their counties was Eastern regions/oceans etc. Converts like you speak of that ignorance, the same that you have been displaying by senseless regurgitation of what you read on Wikipedia.

  • DavePh

    @Dalit, I am sure you are not a Dalit but a Pakistani impostor. You know what is the give away? Your refusal to believe that Asoka actually ruled what is now Papistan, and that Indian Empire has trouble in Chattish Garh.. LOOL. The Bamiyan Buddha statues that your creation – the terrorist Talibans who blew them up is the proof of that. Pakistan also has many Bhddhist Stupas that proved the reach of his Kingdom. You see one of the Dictate of Islam is to demolish all symbols and monuments of other religion, as if they did not ever exist…you people missed quite a few.

    Asoka actually adopted Buddhism after the battle of Kalinga (modern day Orissa) when he was in his own Kingdom, he personally never came down to Land of Sinhala or Sri Lanka (or as we know from Ramayana as the Kingdom of Demon King Ravana). Asoka had sent one of his son Mahenda and daughter Sanghmitra to spread the Buddhist religion in Lanka. The name of former genocide president of Sri Lanka is also Mahenda…what a travesty….

    Asoka ruled much of North, South, West, Central and Eastern part of what is known as Bharat Varsh or Indian Subcontinent to converts…He ruled much of Indian Sub continent that included areas in Iran, areas what is now Papistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Go look up the internet to see the true greatness of this Indian Emperor.

  • DavePh

    Alex Wijaya : Forget about China, talk about Sri Lanka 1/10th of Indian Navy can sink your nation and if South Indians decide to jump in the sea to take a bath, it will cause 20 ft. Tsunami in Chihuahua Nation of Sri Lanka, you should not try to pretend.

  • DavePh

    Your Buddies Pakistanies daily drink millions of gallon of Indian…you know what…and we help fertilize their land with millions of tons of…you know what… because of the 3 Western rivers that flows from India into Pakistan…But they are an eternally ungrateful Nation.

  • DavePh

    We have already demonstrated that to China that South China Sea is not their back yard. We are in collaboration with Vietnam in Oil exploration in SCS, we sail our destroyers and frigates that are on friendly visits to SCS littoral countries without bothering about China. That should tell all.

  • DavePh

    Its 300 KM, not 300 Miles – under MTCR regime.

  • DavePh

    Nice video, now go and check YT (if you have the freedom to access it), and look up Indian military might you will be amazed…12 P8I Maritime high-tech patrol crafts with Harpoon Block – II missiles, good enough to sink every ship size in Chinese inventory.
    Su-30s with 300Km range Brahmos and of course the Sun Burn or Klub class Supersonic Anti Ship missiles… Mate, don’t go looking for trouble in IOR…be peaceful and stop mucking around.

  • Mohan2012

    Well, whatever MTCR regimes says + 50 same units should be the suggested value for the EEZ of any nation 🙂

  • DavePh

    Bro, the EEZ is 200 Nautical miles from continental shelf, 1 nm is roughly 1.852 Km , that is 370 Km. Not getting in to an argument with you, just stating the numbers. 🙂

    We have to have the means to detect and track Chinese Subs and also that of the friendly countries. 😉

  • Mohan2012

    Agree. Myne was only a wish after all…