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China denies US report on research ships ‘collecting info for military’ – Times of India

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BEIJING: China Friday denied an American think-tank report alleging that its vast fleet of “scientific research” ships is collecting data from the oceans, including in the Indian Ocean, for military purposes, especially for submarine operations, saying its vessels operations are in line with the UN Convention on Law of the Seas.
Separately, China’s official media accused the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) of releasing the report coinciding with the visit of Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, who reportedly plans to permit the Chinese research ships after a recent ban by Sri Lanka following concerns expressed by India.”I do not know what is the basis of this report you mentioned and why (you) reached such a conclusion,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said.
The CSIS report said China is undertaking sweeping efforts to transform its navy into a formidable “blue water” force capable of projecting power far beyond its shores. “To survey Earth’s oceans, China has developed the world’s largest fleet of civilian research vessels. While these ships support scientific and commercial objectives, they are also being used to advance Beijing’s strategic ambitions,” it said, adding 13 ships were active in the region in the part four years.





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