BEIJING: China today said it wants to step up maritime cooperation and dialogue with India and other South Asian countries to allay their concerns over increased Chinese naval activity in the Indian Ocean including docking of its submarines in different ports in the region.
"China is willing to work with India and relevant counties to step up maritime cooperation and dialogue and to contribute constructively to peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing.
Asked about India's concerns due to increased Chinese military presence in the Indian Ocean with its naval vessels docking in different ports, she said China has deepened cooperation with various South Asian countries in recent years.
"It is natural that we have military interactions which will be conducive to peace and security," she said.
The docking of Chinese submarines last year at Colombo Port and recently at Pakistan's Karachi port has raised concerns in India while Chinese officials said earlier these were routine visits which is a common practice the world over.
"So I cannot say how it is linked to China's strategy in the Indian Ocean. China is committed to have healthy and sound relationship with South Asian countries," she said adding that India-China relations have been strengthened in recent years.
Rakesh Kumar Kumar (New Delhi)
China wants maritime cooperation with India in Indian Ocean, but deny the sane to India in South China Sea. China is already supporting militants in North east and is arming Pakistan. China cannot have double standards.
Mahendra Kumar Nayak (Bhubaneswar)
Maritime cooperation with China by India will be in both countries interest
Kartik Thakur (Mumbai)
i Hope they remember Hindi-Chinni Bhai Bhai & we know what happened after that...