The Indian Navy will not allow China’s Yuan Wang-6 to enter the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that extends up to 200 nautical miles into the sea, Report informs referring to The Economic Times.
Though it is a known fact that the Yuan Wang-6 is a spy ship of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), sent to the Indian Ocean Region to track India’s missile tests from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast, it is officially registered as a research and survey vessel.
While foreign vessels, including warships, can freely sail through the EEZ, Indian law forbids any survey, research or exploration there by a foreign nation without permission.
The Shi Yan 1 is also considered a PLAN spy ship masquerading as a research vessel. That move by the Indian Navy had led to a diplomatic row with China but India had put her foot down.
“We are constantly monitoring her every movement. Our surface and sub-surface assets are tracking the Yuan Wang-6. So are our Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and long-range maritime surveillance aircraft. In fact, we are also in a position to find out what this ship is tracking. Though we can’t do anything till she is in the open seas, action can be taken once she attempts to enter our EEZ. Had she been a normal PLAN warship, we could have done nothing due to the international right to passage laws.
“However, a foreign survey and research vessel can’t be allowed to operate in our EEZ. She won’t be able to get close to our coastline. We know that Yuan Wang-6 has powerful equipment on board that can track from hundreds of nautical miles away, but there is nothing anybody can do so long as she is in international waters,” the official said.