With the search for missing Malaysian plane turning to India's neighbourhood, China has sought permission for sending its four warships into the Indian waters, causing a major dilemma for the authorities.
India, which had suspended the search operations for last three days, resumed efforts on Wednesday to locate the aircraft in South Indian Ocean region.
China, whose 150 nationals are on board the aircraft, has sent a formal request to India to allow their warships including a salvage vessel and two frigates to enter Indian waters in the Andaman Sea to locate the plane, sources said.
The government, which has been taken by surprise, will take a decision the request after consulting the defence forces, particularly the Navy, the sources said.
The dilemma for the government is because its assets in the Arabian Sea are mainly to guard against China and these could get exposed if the Chinese warships are allowed in.
Meanwhile, Indian Navy and the Air Force along with Coast Guard ships resumed operations to locate the aircraft after keeping them suspended for three days awaiting instruction for looking into new areas.
A Navy official said the Naval and other assets have now been asked to look into the South Indian Ocean stretching south from Jakarta after the request from the Malaysian authorities.
India has deployed six warships and five maritime surveillance aircraft to locate the missing airliner with 239 passengers on board.
The assets deployed for the search operations include INS Saryu, INS Kumbhir and INS Kesari from the Navy and ICGS Kanaklata Barua and ICGS Bhikaji Cama.
The Navy has also deployed two of its P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft from INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu for locating the missing plane along with its Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft.
The IAF has also pressed into action its C-130J Super Hercules Special Operations aircraft fitted with modern surveillance capabilities to find the plane.
Image: Two Chinese surveillance ships which sailed between Philippines warship and Chinese fishing boats to prevent arrest of any fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal