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No tension between navies of India, China in Indian Ocean: Nirmala Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday 8 May 2018 that there is no tension between the navies of India and China in the strategic Indian Ocean, which has been witnessing increasing activities by the PLA Navy; the minister was responding to a question on the “tussle” between India and China.

The facts that led to the question were increased Chinese presence in the region, construction of a deep-sea Gwadar port in Southern Pakistan and above all a naval base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

 The region also has Chinese ships deployed for anti-piracy operations.

When asked about any change in the strategy after the visits of PM Modi, EAM Sushma Swaraj and of the Defence Minister to China, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "We are talking, we are meeting each other - and that is a big change."

The defence personnel of the two countries were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam area near Sikkim last year and it had resulted in tension between the two Asian giants.

Reacting to reports that there was a directive to the Army not to be aggressive on the borders, the Defence Minister said she was not aware of it.


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