Indian Navy stands alone as guardian in Indian Ocean Indian Navy stands alone as guardian in Indian Ocean

The closing arrival of the Chinese research vessel, identified as XIANG YANG HONG 03, is likely to raise concerns in New Delhi, echoing previous unease over similar vessels near its shores, notably in Sri Lanka in 2022.

Despite their official designation as non-military ships, there is persistent worry in India and other nations about the potential military applications of their research.

The strained relations between India and the Maldives intensified following President Muizzu's assumption of office in November.

The new government's pivot towards China was underscored by a request for the withdrawal of nearly 80 Indian troops stationed in the Maldives, according to a Reuters report.,

Image source: X / Damien Symon

The Indian Navy monitors the vessel

The Indian Navy is closely monitoring the movements of the approaching Chinese research vessel, which bears similarities to one that drew objections from India during its operations near Sri Lanka. The vessel is expected to reach the Maldives within the next couple of weeks.

India has consistently expressed concerns about China's expanding presence in the Indian Ocean and its growing influence in strategic locations like Sri Lanka, strategically positioned along crucial east-west international shipping routes.

The developments underscore the evolving geopolitical dynamics in the region, prompting close scrutiny from neighboring nations.