New Delhi: Despite apprehensions over China’s aggression at sea, Indian Navy is sending two ships at International Fleet review to Qingdao to celebrate Chinese Navy’s 70th anniversary.
This will be for the first time Indian warships would be visiting China after the Doklam standoff.
It comes at a time when India has turned down China’s invitation to attend the second Belt and Road Forum to be held later this month.
Interestingly, as per unconfirmed reports, Pakistan Navy will not be sending ships to the fleet review as it is fully deployed to protect its ports fearing attack from Indian Navy. China is organising a grand ceremony to celebrate 70th anniversary of founding of the Chinese Navy, which will be attended by 60 countries.
Indian Navy ships — INS Kolkata and INS Shakti — will arrive in Qingdao on Sunday to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR), Navy Spokesperson Capt D.K. Sharma said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to witness the IFR on April 23. International Fleet Review (IFR) is a parade of naval ships, aircraft and submarines, and is organised by nations to promote goodwill,strengthen co-operation and showcase their organisational capabilities. IFR also serves as an ideal platform for world’s navies to showcase their prowess and indigenous ship designing and ship building capabilities in an international arena.
The second IFR conducted by India off Visakhapatnam in February 2016 saw overwhelming participation of 50 navies with nearly 100 warships.
INS Kolkata is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to address threats in all dimensions of naval warfare. INS Shakti, a replenishment ship, is one of the largest tankers displacing over 27,000 tonnes and capable of carrying 15,000 tonnes of liquid cargo and over 500 tonnes of solid cargo.