NEW DELHI: Ahead of the visit of Chinese president Hu Jintao, India and China are trying to build up the right environment, as they decided to start the first-ever maritime dialogue. Both the countries are making strides to build their naval infrastructure and project power in oceans and seas across the world. This was decided during the meeting of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna with his visiting Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, where the former said that all contentious issues were discussed.
“Every possible issue that is raised, whenever India-China dialogue takes place, was raised and we have understood each other’s position and we have understood the perspective and we will continue to exchange these,” Krishna said. Jiechi, who arrived on Wednesday evening, also called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Vice-President Hamid Ansari. In recent years, India has taken note of the efforts of China to build up a blue-water navy, though according to experts Indian Navy is far ahead in terms of quality.
However, China has an advantage in terms of the number of submarines, with Indian Navy submarine fleet down to 14. With vital sea lanes under threat from piracy, India and China have recently been sending their warships to the horn of Africa to take part in patrols against Somalian pirates. There have also been a rising narrative in certain quarter of the media of likely future naval competition between India and China, fuelled by an incident in South China Sea last year, where an Indian warship was warned that it was entering Chinese territorial waters by a radio message.