India indicated that it will protect its economic interest in the disputed waters of South China Sea and if the need arises India would even send its forces.
- China is speedily upgrading its Navy in the region.
- India has clearly laid its intentions, that it is not a direct claimant in the South China Sea, but its major concern is the “freedom of navigation in international waters”.
- India also has economic interests in the region. For eg: ONGC Videsh has three offshore deepwater blocks, on the southern Vietnamese coast, and invested $600 million in oil and gas exploration in these blocks in the past few years.
Concerns have been raised over the new rules announced by Hainan province (which administers the South China Sea for China) to allow for interception of ships. As per experts the move by China is aimed a bolstering its control over much of the sea, which includes important international shipping ways through which more than a third of global trade takes place.