Beijing/ New Delhi: A Chinese naval contingent has been deployed in the East Indian Ocean for more than a week at a time when the Maldives is undergoing a political crisis , a Chinese website has reported.
The website, sina.com.cn, has linked the deployment of the warships, including an amphibious vessel that can transfer troops from sea to land, to the evolving situation in the Maldives.
“At present, the Indian Ocean region is not peaceful and the political situation in the Maldives continues to be turbulent,” says the post. The article flagged on Sunday pointed out that the Chinese Navy’s ‘Blue 2018A’ fleet has been training in the East Indian Ocean for a “week or so”. However, Indian defence sources denied any movement of Chinese ships near the Indian Ocean island nation.
China had earlier warned against external intervention in the Maldives after the country’s exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed called for New Delhi’s intervention to release political prisoners. The Sina report quoted a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry “that other countries should not interfere in the internal affairs of the Maldives”.
The detachment of the People’s Liberation Army-Navy comprises two 052D destroyers, a 054A frigate, and a 071 dock landing ship.