Indian Navy has detected two Chinese vessels in Sri Lankan waters that have allegedly been collecting vital data over the past few days, according to local media reports. The movement of the vessels has put Indian Navy on high alert as they are believed to be hovering near Indian waters over the past month.
Chinese vessels have often been spotted in Sri Lankan waters over the past few years but this time Indian Navy is more cautious as it believes that there could be some suspicious activity going around the Indian waters. The relationship between India and China has soured over the past few months following an ugly faceoff in the Galwan Valley, where 20 Indian soldiers died.
According to a report in The Print, the Indian Navy has detected two Chinese vessels lately in Sri Lankan waters, which has raised suspicion. The Indian Navy said that both are survey vessels and have been making movements in Sri Lankan waters. However, this time they are quite close to the Indian waters which had raised suspicion.
According to sources in the Indian Navy, the ships most likely reached Sri Lankan waters last month but were detected lately after the came close to Indian waters. Officials say that the two ships are believed to be gathering vital data for conducting operations. In all likelihood the vessels are gathering data related to submarines.
"These vessels are ostensibly being deployed for locating wrecks of Chinese Admiral Zheng He's treasure fleet, which reportedly sank off Sri Lanka in early the 15th century," a source told the media outlet. However, India believes that the deployment of the ships is part of a bigger ploy and India needs to be on high alert.
Chinese vessels often get spotted in Sri Lankan waters, especially since 12 as China claims conducts extensive survey and research but somehow, the movements have raised questions this time around. "An agreement to undertake marine surveys, including search for wreckages, was signed between the two countries during the visit of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Head Xi Jinping to Sri Lanka in September 2014," the source in Indian Navy told the media outlet.
Tensions between India and China are already high after the Galwan faceoff and both the countries have since held talks for peace. Despite that, India can't quite trust its neighbor because of the suspicious activities it continues to carry from time to time. According to a note prepared by the Indian security and defense establishment, there are more than enough reasons this time for the sustained presence of vessels and it doesn't believe that it's only for research work.