In response to questions on a report in a leading international daily, the Official Spokesperson said,
- The Ministry has seen news reports about an alleged confrontation between an Indian Navy ship and a Chinese vessel off the coast of Vietnam in July 2011.
- The Indian Naval vessel, INS Airavat paid a friendly visit to Vietnam between 19 to 28 July 2011. On July 22, INS Airavat sailed from the Vietnamese port of Nha Trang towards Hai Phong, where it was to make a port call. At a distance of 45 nautical miles
from the Vietnamese coast in the South China Sea, it was contacted on open radio channel by a caller
identifying himself as the "Chinese Navy” stating that "you are entering Chinese waters”. No ship or aircraft was visible from INS Airavat, which proceeded on her onward journey as scheduled.
- There was no confrontation involving the INS Airavat.
- India supports freedom of navigation in international waters, including in the South China Sea, and the right of passage in accordance with accepted principles of international law. These principles should be respected by all.
September 01, 2011