Chinese Navy to 'actively maintain' peace in Indian Ocean
Beijing: Chinese Navy has said it would "actively maintain" peace and stability of the Indian Ocean and called for establishment of a "code of conduct" for the navies of different countries to carry out maritime security cooperation to respect their sovereignty and interests.
"The peace and stability of the Indian Ocean bear upon that of the world. The freedom and safety of the navigation in the Indian Ocean play a very important role in the recovery and development of global economy and the Chinese navy will actively maintain the peace and stability of the Indian Ocean," Vice Admiral Su Zhiqian, Commander of the East China Sea Fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), said in his address at the just concluded 'Galle Dialogue 2012' held in Sri Lanka.
The conference was convened to discuss how to ensure the freedom and safety of navigation in the Indian Ocean.
China is expecting to carry out more extensive and in-depth maritime security cooperation with the navies of various countries through this 'Galle Dialogue' so as to make due contributions to and play an active role in maintaining the peace and stability of the Indian Ocean as well as the world at large, state-run People's Daily online quoted him as saying at the conference, in which 28 countries including India, Japan, Australia, the US, the UK and France took part.
Su proposed that the countries should "actively holding bilateral and multilateral dialogues to improve strategic mutual trust, seek to establish a code of conduct for the navies from various countries to carry out maritime security cooperation under the premise of respect for each country's sovereignty and maritime interests, and gradually expand the scope of maritime security cooperation by dealing with such non-traditional security threats as maritime terrorism, natural disasters and others as the breakthrough points".
Su said the Chinese navy is a staunch force in safeguarding the world peace and an active advocate and implementer of the idea of constructing a "harmonious ocean".
Despite defending China's increasing presence in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka distanced itself from being identified as an ally, insisting that multi-million dollar Chinese funding for its ports and other projects is purely a "commercial interest".