News / Asia

India Vows to Protect S. China Sea Interests

TEXT SIZE - +
Anjana Pasricha
— As India vows to protect its interests in the South China Sea, China has reiterated that it has indisputable sovereignty of the islands and the surrounding waters. India is not directly involved in the disputes over the South China Sea, but has begun gas exploration in the waters which China claims. 

Navy Chief Admiral, D.K. Joshi made the assertion that India will not back off from protecting its maritime and economic interests.

Joshi said Monday that although India is not a territorial claimant to the South China Sea, it will deploy naval vessels there as necessary. India’s state-run oil agency, Oil And Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has a stake in a portion of the sea which Vietnam says is its exclusive economic zone.  

"Not that we expect to be in those waters very, very frequently, but when the requirement is there, for example, in situations where our country's interests are involved, for example ONGC, ONGC Videsh, etc., we will be required to go there and we are prepared for that," the admiral said. "Now, are we preparing for it? Are we having exercises of that nature? The short answer is yes."

Asked what Beijing would do if the Indian Navy came to protect its oil interests in the South China Sea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei stated that Beijing has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the sea and adjacent waters.

Hong said China opposes unilateral oil and gas development in the South China Sea, adding that he hopes concerned countries will respect China’s position and rights.

China, which claims much of the South China Sea’s waters and islands, has been locked in a series of disputes with East Asian countries like Vietnam and Philippines. Tensions have been escalating centered in, the resource-rich waters, with some analysts expressing fears of conflict .

In the past India, had been a largely passive observer to the growing tensions in the South China Sea.  

But Indian analysts say that New Delhi has waded into the dispute by starting exploration in a Vietnamese gas field. New Delhi strategic affair analyst Bhaskar Roy said India wants to hold on to its presence in the South China Sea, which is rich in oil reserves.

“There have been indications, not direct but indirect, that Chinese would like to get us out of that," noted Roy. "Now we cannot just be picked up and thrown out. There is public interest in India on this issue: where are we going, are we giving up our sovereignty because of Chinese pressure. It also shows that we also have capabilities and also determination to protect our own interest.”

Indian officials say that the South China Sea region is key to its energy security. Half of the country’s imports and exports also go through the waters and New Delhi says it wants safety and security for international ships.

Some Indian analysts also say that, if China has a right to naval cooperation with neighboring countries like Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, India has a similar right in the South China Sea.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid