Indian Navy Prepared to Ensure 'Maritime Security' In Case of War Over Taiwan, Says Vice-Admiral
13:56 GMT 25.08.2022 (Updated: 12:45 GMT 19.06.2023)
© Photo : Chinamil.com.cnBeijing says its air and naval forces will stage a military exercise near the Taiwan Strait
© Photo : Chinamil.com.cn
The member of the US-led Quad group has expressed concern over tensions in the Taiwan Strait. The Indian Foreign Ministry called for de-escalation of tensions and “avoidance” of actions that might alter the status quo this month.
The Indian Navy remains “fully prepared” to ensure it’s “maritime security” in the event of a war over Taiwan, Vice-Admiral S.N. Ghormade said on Thursday.
"We keep our focus on new technological enhancements, we need to continuously develop our strength, we are capable of deterring," Ghormade said. The vice-admiral was speaking in response to a question while addressing a press conference on the commissioning of the first domestically-built aircraft carrier.
INS Vikrant, whose construction began in 2009, is due to set sail from the southern seaport of Kochi on September 2 in an event that will be presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
12 August 2022, 13:24 GMT
Ghormade said that efforts to fast-track the commissioning of Vikrant were undertaken in recent years so that the Indian Navy could act as a “deterrent” in the Indian Ocean. Built at a cost of over $2.5 billion, the 262-meter military vessel completed its fourth and final phase of sea trials last month.
“The commissioning of INS Vikrant will contribute towards peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” the Vice-Admiral said, adding that it will also help Delhi realize its ambition of being a “blue-water navy”. A blue-water navy is capable of deploying resources far from its shores.
Any potential conflict over Taiwan could have a bearing on India’s economic and security interests, given the India-bound trade that takes place through the Taiwan Strait.
The US State Department has designated India a "major defense partner", with forces from both countries holding regular military and naval drills in multilateral and bilateral formats.
India and the US have also signed a mutual logistics sharing pact, which will allow reciprocal access to each other's military bases for refueling, repair and maintenance of warships and aircraft.
Ties between India and China, on the other hand, have been frayed owing to the border standoff in Ladakh which began in May 2020 and remains unresolved.
The remarks by the Indian Navy come days after China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted its largest-ever live-fire and ballistic missile drills in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this month.
Beijing also doubled down on its goal to “reunify” Taiwan with China in the wake of Pelosi’s visit this month, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi warning against “external interference” in the matter and terming Washington “the main destroyer" of regional peace and stability.
The PLA has organized several military drills around Taiwan since Pelosi’s visit.
Last week, the Chinese Defense Ministry said that it would continue to carry out these exercises to safeguard Beijing’s territorial integrity, another US lawmaker Ed Markley landed in Taiwan last on August 14.
Another round of the PLA’s Eastern Theatre Command’s live-fire drills off the coast of Fujian province in the Taiwan Strait will begin on Friday, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday.
The military drills have been criticized as “destabilizing” by the US and its western allies, as well as Japan and Australia, which are Washington’s major partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
All the western allies have urged Beijing to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, as they also reaffirmed their commitment to the One-China Policy.