Seeking to straighten out his recent remarks on China, Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta today said he had "never" stated that Beijing was more powerful than New Delhi as was attributed to him in the media.
"I have never said that China is more powerful than us. What I said is that for numbers to numbers, we don't want to compete (with them). May be we are better without having those numbers," he said.
He was addressing a farewell press conference before demitting office on August 31.
Mehta'a clarification followed his remarks earlier this month that "India neither had the capability nor the intention" to match Chinese military capabilities.
He said these remarks were made in a particular context.
When asked about the threat posed by the Chinese naval bases coming up around India and whether China wanted to encircle India, he said, "India is a big country and it would be very difficult to do so. As their (Chinese) Navy comes from far away to this region, they need to build bases, which are known as shaping the maritime environment."