Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : NA Page No. : 3
URL : http://www.jdqu.com/read-812013-3.html

“China is set to increase its influence and control in the Indian Ocean”; this has become the favourite subject of speculation within the Indian media. The Indian military also often follows this new“respond to China” trend. In the last few days,The Times of India, Times News Network and other Indian news media, outlets have reported that in the last 8 to 9 months, India has intensified military deployments and infrastructure development in the Andaman and Nicobar islands to strengthen the “eastern maritime front line”. India has sent cruise missile corvettes and installed a number of radars, among other measures. These actions seem to be in response to Chinese vessels frequently entering the Indian Ocean region.

An article published in the Times of India on February 27it vividly described the scenario from the beginning—On 23 February.A light on the coastal radar screen turns on, following which an alarm is raised in New Delhi. These are the unidentified warships approaching the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Related personnel immediately alert the military command center at Andaman and Nicobar islands. Following this, these ships are already under surveillance. According to the reports, the ship was found to be Chinese navy’s submarine supply ships. The Indian navy got suspicious due to their presence, thinking that there may be more Chinese submarines cruising around the periphery.

“We are monitoring the activities of these Chinese military vessels”, said Chatterjee, the commanding officer of the Andaman and Nicobar military command center, in response to the above mentioned report. This is not the first time that Chinese vessels have been found near Andaman and Nicobar islands. “As the situation has changed, there is a need to pay more attention and concern to this region’s defense capabilities”, Chatterjee said. He also said that some countries operate in their administrative region and since these waters have warships and submarines— “therefore, we are justified in being on a strict guard”.

Times News Network reported on 26 January that Andaman and Nicobar islands have been witnessto a high level of infrastructure development in the last few years—especially in the last 8 to 9 months. Indian Ministry of Defense previously said that the Andaman and Nicobar islands are India’s eastern maritime frontier and not the Coromandel Coast, as was previously believed by people.

Chatterjee told reporters that in the next five years the Andaman and Nicobar islands will be a bigger part of the picture. A lot more military personnel will be deployed here and great effort will be made to develop infrastructure for military and civilian use. Giving an example he said, “Missile corvette INS Karmuk will be deployed here from April 1, P-81anti submarine patrol aircraft has already started their mission here. We have already deployed additional radar s here and more are in pipeline. Currently we are considering converting the Car Nicobar base into a permanent base. In the next few years Andaman and Nicobar islands will possess formidable defense capabilities”.

TNN television station said that thatthe Chinese navy appearing within 500 km radius of Andaman and Nicobar islands makes the region vulnerable to attacks. According to the Andaman and Nicobar island military command center, there is a need of at least two other command ships. They will be located in the north, south and central part of the island. In addition to this, Andaman and Nicobar’s North and South air base needs track extension. According to Chatterjee, “Right now, we have already submitted infrastructure plans for the next 10 years”.

The Andamansare more than 1000 km away from India’s mainland and the Strait of Malacca is situated at the not so far in south east. Zhao Gancheng, a researcher from Shanghai Institute of International Studies (SIIS), responded to the February 28 report published in Global times stating that the aim of Andaman and Nicobar islands military center is to monitor the situation in the Strait of Malacca. In comparison to the military command centers in Kolkata and Mumbai, the Andaman and Nicobar command center is much closer to South China Sea and International waters. Earlier, India didn’t have much influence over Strait of Malacca region, in addition to that, up till now India didnot even have the capability or even have a base in Southeast Asia, So India hopes to improve this situation through the Andaman and Nicobar island military center.

Hyping the “China threat theory” has become a habit for the Indian media. Earlier, when China deployed cruise missile at the Yongxing Islands among a much heated debate, India’s First Post said that this display of muscle will inevitable raise concerns in New Delhi and that China may include Andaman and Nicobar islands in its territory list. The Indian side wants to balance regional military presence by making advance preparations. According to an article IDSA, as far as India is concerned, the presence of Chinese military in the Indian Ocean region affects India’s national security. Previously, India and China’s competition was only limited to land and sky but now it is maritime has become “third dimensional”.

Zhao Gancheng believes that India always viewed the Indian Ocean as its own sphere of influence and was always wary of China. Indian media’s reports on the development and future of China’s policy in Indian Ocean are always negative. In fact, India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defense and other government branches are generally more cautious about the present situation and don’t make unnecessary statements. The military probably uses this pretext for increasing their budget while the Indian media uses “Chinese threat” perception to get more views.

印度加强武装安达曼群岛防中国

“中国加大对印度洋的控制和影响力渗透”已成为许多印度媒体偏爱炒作的话题,而印度军方的新动向也往往被描述为和“应对中国”有关。《印度时报》、TNN电视台等印媒近日报道称,印度在过去8至9个月强化了对其“东部海域前沿”安达曼-尼科巴群岛的军事部署和基础设施建设,比如派遣导弹护卫舰、安装更多雷达等。而这些举措被指和中国船只频繁在印度洋地区出没有关。

《印度时报》27日的相关文章以一个生动的场景描写为开端:23日,随着一个光点出现在印度沿海雷达的屏幕上,新德里响起了警报声。这是一艘正在靠近安达曼-尼科巴群岛的身份不明的舰船。相关人员立刻向安达曼-尼科巴司令部发送警报。此时,这艘船已处于监视之下。报道称,被发现的船只是中国海军的潜艇补给舰,它的出现使印度海军不得不怀疑,可能有更多的中国潜艇在周边游弋。

“我们正在监视这艘中国军舰的活动。”安达曼-尼科巴司令部司令查特吉针对上述报道回应称,这不是安达曼群岛附近首次发现中国船只,“随着形势已经发生变化,本地区的防务能力愈加引起关注和重视。”查特吉表示,某些国家频繁在其辖区内活动,既有水面舰艇,也有潜艇,“因此我们有理由严加防范”。

印度TNN电视台26日称,安达曼-尼科巴群岛最近几年在基础设施方面改善不小,特别是在过去8至9个月取得很大进展。印度国防部此前表示,安达曼群岛才是印度东部海域前沿,并非是之前外界认为的科罗曼德尔海岸。

查特吉对媒体表示,未来5年,安达曼群岛将呈现另外一番景象,这里会部署更多部队,努力发展军事和民用基础设施。他举例说:“‘喀木克’号导弹护卫舰将在4月1日被派遣到这里,P-8I海神反潜巡逻机已经开始在此执行任务。我们已经部署了多个雷达,更多雷达正在安装中。目前正在考虑将卡尔尼科巴岛上的基地转为永久性基地。在未来几年里,安达曼-尼科巴群岛将拥有强大的防御能力。”

TNN电视台称,中国军舰随时会在安达曼群岛500公里半径范围内出现,令该地区容易受到攻击。安达曼-尼科巴司令部表示,这里至少还需要两艘指挥舰,它们将被部署在群岛的北部、南部和中部。此外,安达曼群岛北部和南部的空军基地也需要延长跑道。查特吉称,“目前,我们已经提交了未来10年的基础设施规划。

安达曼群岛距离印度本土1000多公里,马六甲海峡位于其东南部不远处。上海国际问题研究院研究员赵干城28日接受《环球时报》记者采访时表示,安达曼-尼科巴司令部的使命是监视马六甲海峡区域的情况。与其他两个位于孟买和加尔各答的司令部相比,这个司令部距离南海和印度洋国际水道近很多。以前,印度在马六甲海峡区域没有影响力,加印直到现在都不具备远洋能力,在东南亚地区也没有海军基地,所以印方希望通过该司令部改善这种情况。

炒作“中国威胁论”几乎已成为印度媒体的习惯动作。此前中国在永兴岛部署导弹被国际舆论热议时,印度《第一邮报》就声称,这种展示肌肉的行为必将引发新德里的担忧——中国或将安达曼群岛列入自己的领土,印方应对地区军力平衡被打破早作准备。印度防务与分析研究所网站文章称,对印度来说,中国在印度洋地区的海军存在影响印度的国家安全。以前,印度和中国的竞争主要是在陆地和天空,现在增加了海上这个“第三维度”。

赵干城表示,印度一直将印度洋视为自己的势力范围,对中国的戒心很重,印度媒体对中国有关印度洋的政策、行动和未来发展趋势的报道基本是负面的。其实,印度外交部、国防部等政府部门一般比较谨慎,从大局出发,不会讲过分的话。但军方有可能想借此事争取更多预算。而媒体则是喜欢通过炒作“中国威胁”吸引眼球。

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