Chinese Spy Ship En Route to Maldives Raises Concerns in India/NDTV
Chinese Spy Ship En Route to Maldives Raises Concerns in India
A Chinese spy ship, posing as a ‘research’ vessel, is creating unease in New Delhi as it heads towards the Maldives. Tensions between India and the Maldives have escalated following critical comments by Maldivian ministers about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Marine Tracker app reveals the ship’s current location off the coast of Indonesia, having navigated the Sunda Strait, and it is expected to reach Male on February 8.
Geopolitical Shift as Maldives President Meets Xi Jinping
The vessel’s movement coincides with Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu’s recent meeting with China’s Xi Jinping, signaling a potential shift in geopolitical and military alliances in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Muizzu, elected on an “India Out” campaign, demands the withdrawal of nearly 100 Indian soldiers and military assets from the Maldives by March 15.
Chinese Spy Ship Mapping the Indian Ocean Floor
The Xiang Yang Hong 03, a 4,300-ton ‘research’ vessel, is known for mapping the Indian Ocean floor. While research activities claim to anticipate natural disasters, the vessel’s presence adds to concerns about China’s strategic moves. Previous sightings of Chinese ‘research vessels’ and warships near India’s coasts, including locations like Hambantota, Karachi, Djibouti, and now the Maldives, raise alarm about China’s expanding naval influence.
The geopolitical landscape is evolving, and India closely monitors such vessels, using maritime reconnaissance aircraft and deployed warships to intercept and track Chinese naval assets in the IOR.