China must send more submarines to the Indian Ocean so that the “concerned countries” get used to their presence, Chinese experts have said. “China should send more submarines to the Indian Ocean to make concerned countries get used to their presence in that region,” Hu Bo, researcher with Peking University Ocean Strategy Research Centre, was quoted as saying by People’s Daily online.
Indian worries China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean. The US and Japan are equally concerned over China flexing its muscles in the world seas. More than a dozen submarines have been spotted by India in the Indian Ocean over the years. Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies with Shanghai Institute for International Studies, agreed with Hu.
“The geo-strategic position of the Indian Ocean has a profound influence on China’s national security and development,” Zhao said, adding that sending vessels to the region was normal for the country. Hu said the just-concluded Malabar naval drill in the Bay of Bengal between India, Japan and the US reflected that China was being taken as an “imaginary enemy”.
“Taking China as the imaginary enemy is a reflection of Cold War mentality,” Hu said, adding that the ocean was a global public product that does not come within the jurisdiction of any single country.