New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) As Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar tours China, Indian Navy chief R.K. Dhowan on Monday said the two neighbouring countries are cooperating with each other in the maritime domain.
“Both Indian and PLA (People’s Liberation Army of China) navies cooperate with each other in maritime domain,” Chief of the Naval Staff Dhowan told reporters on the sidelines of an event here that brought together investors in defence sector and top naval officers.
“Recently, when our agreements were renewed, two warships and official delegation of PLA had arrived in India and we carried out joint exercises,” he said.
Together India and Chinese navies have been successful in tackling piracy as well, Dhowan said.
His comments came as Parrikar arrived in China on Saturday on a five-day official visit for talks with top PLA officials to consolidate ties between the armed forces of the two countries.
Dhowan said: “The two navies cooperate with each other even in the Gulf of Aden, where we undertake anti-piracy patrol. We exchange information, so that both the navies are aware what escorts are being undertaken by the other.”
“We also have occasions where both of our ships visit each others’ country. We visited China in 2014 to participate in multilateral exercises and their ship visited us after that.”
Defence Minister Parrikar may raise with Chinese minister the issues about enhancement of cooperation and interaction between the two countries, Dhowan said.
The navy chief also said the LSA (Logistics Support Agreement) that India is about to sign with the US would help the Indian Navy in getting crucial logistical support in high seas.
“This (LSA) will be to our advantage. We will get support in logistic aspects, which will meet the requirements of the ships when they operate in different parts of the world,” Dhowan said, insisting “the two navies will also look deeper into the other aspects of the agreement”.
The navy chief refused to link the LSA with India-China relations. The agreement is being seen by some as part of America’s ‘China containment’ measure.
Parrikar and US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last week announced that the two countries have ‘in principle’ agreed to conclude a logistics support to each other.
India and the US will sign two more agreements: A Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) for assistance in geospatial intelligence.