New Delhi: The Indian Navy’s clear message to Beijing through its aggressive deployment of almost all frontline warships and submarines in the Indian Ocean Region following escalation in the border row in eastern Ladakh has been “registered” by China, top defence sources said on Tuesday.
The Indian Navy deployed a range of its frontline warships and submarines in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR) to send a clear message to China when the border tension escalated manifold in the wake of the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15.
The sources told PTI that the government adopted a multi-pronged approach involving the Army, the Indian Air Force(IAF) and the Navy as well diplomacy and economic measures to send a clear signal to China that its misadventure in eastern Ladakh was not acceptable at all.
They said the three service chiefs are engaged in deliberations on almost a daily basis to ensure a coordinated approach in dealing with the situation as well as to make China understand about India’s clear message.
The sources said the three services are coordinating on the military response to the border row.
The Navy has significantly expanded its deployment in the IOR deploying a plethora of warships and submarines to create pressure points on China as the maritime space around the Malacca Strait is very critical for its supply chain through sea routes.
“Yes, our message has been registered by China,” said a source without elaborating.
Asked whether China has responded to India’s deployment, the sources said there was no visible increase in forays by Chinese ships in the IOR.
They said the reason could be the PLA Navy’s excessive deployment of resources in the South China Sea following the strong opposition by the US to Beijing’s expansive territorial claims in the region.
The US sent a number of its warships to the South China Sea to demonstrate freedom of navigation and rallying support to countries who have territorial disputes with China over the region.
The Indian Navy is also ramping up its operational cooperation with various friendly naval forces like the US Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force in view of the fast evolving regional security landscape.
Following the Galwan Valley clashes, the IAF deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircraft in the key frontier air bases in eastern Ladakh and elsewhere along the Line of Actual Control(LAC).
The IAF has been carrying out night time combat air patrols over the eastern Ladakh region in an apparent message to China that it was ready to deal with any eventualities in the mountainous region.
The Army significantly enhanced deployment after the clashes in Galwan Valley that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.
Following the Galwan Valley incident, the government has given the armed forces “full freedom” to give a “befitting” response to any Chinese misadventure along the LAC.
After the last round of military talks, government sources said the Indian side conveyed a “very clear” message to the Chinese army that status quo ante must be restored in eastern Ladakh and it will have to follow all mutually agreed protocols for border management to bring back peace and tranquillity.