New Delhi: An unauthorised Chinese vessel was spotted in the Indian Ocean Region in September, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh has said. A warship had to be deployed to drive the vessel away, reports said. The news of the Chinese intrusion came to light a day ahead of the Navy day. Shi Yan 1, the research vehicle, was spotted in India’s exclusive economic zone in the Andaman Sea. Also Read - China Has Increased Presence in Indian Ocean Since 2008, Keenly Watching Them: Navy Chief

“Our stand is that if you have to do anything in our EEZ (exclusive economic zone), you have to notify us and take permission,” Admiral Karambir Singh told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the intrusion. Also Read - Threat From China Looms Large, Chinese Aircraft Carriers May Enter Indian Ocean: US

According to reports, the research vessel was carrying out research activities near Port Blair. It could have also been used by the Chinese to spy on Indian activities. Also Read - French Navy seizes 670 kg heroin in Indian Ocean

The presence of such vessels is increasing. “About seven to eight Chinese ships are available in this area, some under the anti-piracy escort group and some doing scientific research,” he said to the Indian Express.

China is trying to mark its presence in the Indian Ocean Region much to the opposition of India and several other countries. In November, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had explained India’s position at a conference of ASEAN Defence Ministers. He had said that India stands for a “demilitarised” South China Sea.

(With Agency Inputs)