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Facts behind Indian media's hype of Chinese submarine threat

(Source: China Military Online)   2014-12-10

  BEIJING, December 10 (ChinaMil) -- Ever since photos were published of Chinese submarines docking at the Colombo Port in Sri Lanka this September, some Indian media have vehemently and repeatedly hyped up the topic of “Chinese submarines entering the Indian Ocean”. However, their reports are filled with conjectures and factual errors, and such discord will only cause unnecessary trouble to the normal military exchanges between China and India.

  An Indian newspaper published an article titled “revival of Chinese navy makes India nervous” on December 8, which said that the Chinese naval submarines docked in Sri Lanka right after the border confrontation between the Indian and Chinese armies, and China also strengthened its relations with Maldives, which holds an especially important strategic position between India and Africa.

  The newspaper alleged that the series of actions taken by China “forced” India to speed up its naval modernization. The Modi administration recently ordered to accelerate the bidding for six conventional power submarines, and this procurement is supposed to cost $8.1 billion. Six other conventional submarines ordered by India are also being manufactured by DCNS of France in Mumbai.

  As to nuclear submarine, India’s first homemade nuclear submarine that can carry nuclear weapons started sea trials this month and is planned to be commissioned in 2016. A Mumbai-based shipbuilder responsible for the hull engineering of India’s first nuclear submarine revealed that the building of at least two other homemade nuclear submarines is in progress.

  Reuters reported that India is also in talks with Russia about renting a second nuclear submarine.

  But Indian media reports deemed that India’s efforts are in no way comparable to China’s as “the Chinese navy has 800 vessels in total, including about 60 conventional submarines and 10 nuclear ones, at least three of which can carry nuclear warheads”.

  The India Today website made a more detailed analysis of the “threat caused by Chinese submarine’s entry into the Indian Ocean” in a report. According to a map of the Indian Ocean provided by the website, the red marks that denote the activity area of Chinese submarines and the bases they can use “surround” the entire Indian Peninsula, while the few white marks denoting the Indian navy are divided into the east and west parts.

  India Today paid special attention to Chinese submarines’ activities in the Indian Ocean this year. The report released in the website said that a Shang-class nuclear submarine took the lead to make actual-combat deployment in the Indian Ocean in February this year, which was followed by a Han-class nuclear submarine and a Song-class conventional submarine docking at the Colombo Port successively. “Chinese submarine’s penetration into the Indian Ocean not only threatens India’s dominance there, but also undermines the Indian navy’s secondary nuclear counterattack capabilities”, the report said.

  While some Indian media trumpeted the Chinese submarine threat, they didn’t even have the basic knowledge of the facts. When the news about Chinese submarines docking at Colombo Port first got out, several Indian media claimed with certainty that it was a Han-class nuclear submarine named “Long March 2”.

  But photos published by the Sri Lankan authority showed it was a conventional submarine.

  In a regular press conference on Nov. 27, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense (MND) said it was a normal technical docking by a conventional submarine that joined the Chinese naval escort task force to perform escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast.

  It is a quite common practice for submarines of world navies to dock at certain ports and conduct replenishment, the spokesman said.

  The topics like the “military standoff in the China-India border areas” or the “threat from Chinese submarines”, that the Indian media usually hyped up in recent years, have never been approved by the governments of the two countries. The frequent appearance of such jarring noises has brought unnecessary trouble to the normal military exchanges between the two countries.

Editor:Dong Zhaohui
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