New Delhi, (Samajweekly) China, the first country to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, has started pushing its People’s Liberation Army Navy’s activities in South China Sea as well as the Indian Ocean Region to gain dominance in the areas, sources said on Saturday.
The 35th Chinese Anti-Piracy Escort Force (APEF) has recently replaced the 34th APEF deployed in the Gulf of Aden. “Because of it, around seven People’s Liberation Army Navy ships are in the Indian Ocean Region,” said the sources.
The sources also found that China is operating 4 to 5 research vessels in the Indian Ocean Region at present.
A senior government official said that even though China was the first country to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, it seems to have had no major effect on the PLA-Navy’s activities.
“Additionally, a large number of PLA-Navy/Coast Guard assets, maritime militia and survey ships are deployed in the contested waters of the South China Sea,” said the official.
Intelligence agencies have reported to the government that the US and French navies, affected by coronavirus-infested crew on warships while they were deployed in South China Sea, have vacated the space for the PLA-Navy to push for its dominance and expansion in those waters.
This has enabled the Chinese government to sense the vacuum and up its ante in the South China Sea over the past few weeks.
Expansion in South China Sea...