New Delhi: Navy Army Chief Admiral Karmabir Singh on Tuesday said that India is keenly watching China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean region while assuring that it was capable of thwarting any such threat.

“China has increased presence in the Indian Ocean since 2008. We are keenly watching them,” Karmabir Singh said while addressing a press conference in the national capital ahead of the Navy Day celebrations on December 4.

The Navy Chief also said there are on average seven to eight vessels present near exclusive economic zone, adding they are either carrying out mining or are sometimes present as anti-privacy squad.

Notably, exclusive economic zone is a coastal water area and seabed within a certain distance of a country’s coastline. The country can claim exclusive rights for fishing, drilling, and other economic activities.

“There are Chinese oceanographic research vessels in the exclusive economic zone. On an average seven to eight vessels are present near this zone. They are here sometimes to carry out mining, sometime as anti-piracy squad,” said Singh, adding that the Indian Navy carries out whatever prompt action is needed.

Admiral Karambir Singh also stressed that they have inputs about terror groups planning to enter India through sea routes.

“We also know about the intelligence input about that terror groups planning to enter India through sea routes. We have put an adequate defence mechanism to thwart any threats,” Singh said.

He added, “50 warships and submarines of the Indian Navy are under construction of which 48 are on order in Indian shipyards.”