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No Chinese maritime base near Andamans: Navy

Source: PTI
September 10, 2009 18:25 IST
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India has taken up with Myanmar reports of China having a maritime 'base' in the strategic Coco islands near the Andamans islands but was told there is no movement of the Chinese navy in the area, a top naval officer said on Thursday.

The officer also said the navy had no report of any Chinese presence in the Indian waters near the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

"There is no report of any Chinese movement in our waters in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands," Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Anup Singh said when asked about reports of Chinese incursion into Indian waters.

On reports of Chinese presence in the Coco Islands near the Andamans, Singh said India had taken up the issue with Myanmar which has jurisdiction over the island, but the latter had denied the report.

"We have had a dialogue with the Myanmar government which has clarified there is no Chinese presence in Coco islands," he added.

Coco Islands are a pair of strategically important islands located in the eastern Indian Ocean, politically administered by Myanmar under Yangon Division.

Geographically, they are a part of the Andaman Islands archipelago and separated from the North Andaman Island (India) by the 20-km wide Coco Channel.

Singh, who was talking to mediapersons after the commissioning ceremony of two water jet propelled Fast Attack Craft, said fishing trawlers from neighbouring countries occasionally forayed into the Indian waters but they were intercepted by the Coast Guards.

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