No Chinese warship deployed close to Maldive waters says government sources

Vastavam web: No Chinese warship has been deployed close to the waters of the Maldives since political turmoil broke out in the island-nation, and India continues to have a significant presence in critical sea lanes in the Indian Ocean region, government sources today said.They, however, said a Chinese destroyer and a frigate had crossed into the Eastern Indian Ocean through the Sunda Strait and exited the Indian Ocean through the Lombok Strait while heading towards the South China Sea a few days ago.The sources said India currently has a significant naval presence in the Indian Ocean region, adding Indian Navy has deployed one warship each in East of Indonesia, Malacca Strait, Gulf of Oman and Gulf of Aden.

India has also deployed a warship next to the waters of Sri Lanka, another one between Bangladesh and Myanmar and one between the Seychelles and Mauritius.”We have a very robust surveillance mechanism at the Indian Ocean Region based on deployment since July 2017. No movement of Chinese warship has been detected near the waters of Maldives,” said a source in the Indian Navy.

It said currently, the closest distance between a Chinese warship and Maldivian waters would be around 2,500 nautical miles.Last year, the Navy had introduced a new plan for deployment of warships in the Indian Ocean region to effectively counter China’s growing presence in the strategically key waters.