Amid rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said the Indian Navy would increase its awareness in the maritime domain to keep an eye on the activities of China, which is flexing its muscles in the region, ANI reported.
Addressing the Navy personnel at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam, Rajnath Singh said, “I believe the Indian Navy is working as the most important component in our ‘Act East Policy’. Our neighbour China always does activities. I think we need to increase our awareness in the maritime domain. I believe the Navy will keep getting stronger.”
The Defence Minister is on a two-day visit to the Naval headquarters to review the ongoing infrastructure projects and proposals of the Indian Navy.
China has been trying to expand its military presence in the Indo-Pacific, which is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea. It claims almost all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims over the region.
Earlier this month, India, along with the US, Australia and Japan, came out in strong support of an ASEAN-led mechanism to preserve and promote a rules-based order in the region. The four countries underscored their intent to continue regular consultations on Indo-Pacific engagement and initiatives together and with other interested nations and institutions.
Meanwhile, Singh lauded the patriotic fervour of the sailors in the Indian Navy in maintaining a constant vigil against maritime threats and safeguarding the nation’s interests. He also directed the naval officials to continue proactive civil-military synergies and cooperation to expedite the naval projects.