India wants to incite the US to partner with it in containing China by saying that China's submersible development program is a challenge to the US Navy's aircraft carriers, a Chinese expert said.
India should focus more on submarines and less on aircraft carriers, since they are not well suited to protect India's extremely long coastline and "distant sea lanes through which the country's economic lifeline moves," Indian newspaper the Deccan Chronicle said Monday.
The report also said that the rise of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy is "a grave strategic challenge to the freedom of navigation for the sovereign nations of the world and free passage of ships through the sea lanes" in the Indian Ocean region and the nearby waters of the western Pacific Ocean.
"The Indian media is exaggerating the rise of our naval power, as China has made clear that the development of maritime power is to protect the security of sea lanes. And the rise of the PLA navy will never affect freedom of navigation," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The Deccan Chronicle report also claimed that China's submarine development also aimed to act as a countermeasure against the US navy's aircraft-carrier battle groups.
India wants to provoke dissension between China and the US by describing the PLA navy as maritime rivals of the US, Hu said, adding that "it wants to incite the US to cooperate with India on containing China."
Chinese military authorities have not confirmed how many submarines there are in the fleet. American magazine The National Interest reported in September that China has more than 70 submarines, "however, the quality of Chinese submarines lags behind compared to American or Russian boats."
India has 14 imported submarines, the Deccan Chronicle reported.