New Delhi: Indian officials have confirmed that an Indian Navy vessel on a trip to Vietnam was 'buzzed' by China for allegedly violating its waters. The act of harassment took place off the coast of Vietnam in the month of July.
According to Indian external ministry officials, the INS Airavat was sailing about 45 nautical miles off the coast of Vietnam on 22 July when a caller identifying himself as belonging to the Chinese navy (PLAN- PLA Navy) made radio contact and told the Indian vessel: "You are entering Chinese waters."
According to these officials, no ship or aircraft was visible and Airavat continued its journey.
INS Airavat (L24) is the third 'Shardul' class amphibious warfare vessel of the Indian Navy. It is a large ship meant for landing troops and tanks on enemy coastlines.
In recent times China has grown more assertive in pressing its claims to much of the South China Sea. The issue is a matter of much concern to the littoral countries as well as international maritime shipping.
China claims the South China Sea in its entirety, rejecting partial claims by Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan over the resource-rich region.