In a significant development, Indian Navy warships constantly tracked a Chinese research vessel which entered the Indian Ocean Region last month at a time when tensions rose on the land borders in Ladakh between the two nations.
The Yuan Wang class research vessel had entered the Indian Ocean Region from Malacca straits last month. It was constantly tracked by Indian Navy warships deployed there in the region, government sources said.
The Chinese research vessel returned to China a few days ago after being under constant watch of Indian Navy vessels, the sources said.
Such research vessels have been coming regularly from China and they try to gain sensitive information about Indian maritime territory.
In December last year, the Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 1 was carrying out research activities in the Indian waters near Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and was detected by maritime surveillance aircraft operating there.
Such vessels could have also been used by the Chinese to spy on the Indian activities in the Island territory from where India can keep a close eye on the maritime movements in the Indian Ocean Region and South-East Asian region.
Since laws do not allow foreign countries to carry out any research or exploration activities in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone, the Indian Navy warship at that time had asked the Chinese research vessel to move out of Indian waters.