Beijing, June 11: Chi has backed India’s plans to set up a tsumi warning system in the disputed South Chi Sea, which is almost entirely claimed by Beijing. Chi, which is touchy about its “territorial sovereignty” over the energy-rich waters, thinks an efficient tsumi alert mechanism would be good for littoral states.
Reacting to India’s decision to explore the possibility to set up such a system, the Chinese Foreign Ministry told IANS that it was “in the interest of all parties to strengthen tsumi early warning research”. “Chi and relevant countries have established relevant facilities and systems in the South Chi Sea in accordance with the requirements of the relevant UN agencies,” the ministry told IANS.
“The relevant parties can discuss relevant cooperation issues under the existing cooperation mechanism.” Last month, an Indian government official said New Delhi planned to establish early warning tsumi system in the South Chi Sea. Beijing in the past has warned New Delhi to stay away from the hotly-contested waters, over which Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietm have overlapping claims.
Beijing is irked over India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd’s (OVL) presence off the coast of Vietm where it is exploring hydrocarbon. The deep sea block 128, where India got a one-year extension by Vietm for the exploration in 2016, is part of the disputed the South Chi Sea. Last month, Song Zhongping, a military expert who formerly was in the People’s Liberation Army, slammed India for its joint val exercise with Singapore in the South Chi Sea, saying New Delhi had reneged on its promise of not provoking Beijing.
However, Beijing’s welcoming response can help ease tensions between India and Chi which, alysts think, are likely to cool down after the “positive” meeting between Prime Minister rendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Friday. Chi last year set up a tsumi alert centre in the South Chi Sea, through which a global trade worth $5 trillion passes through every year. (IANS)