The sources in Indian Navy went on to stress that these were not warships as previously reported in Chinese websites.
New Delhi: Sources in the Indian Navy have refuted reports about deployment of Chinese warships in the Eastern part of the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.
Five Chinese ships were detected in the region and were observed leaving and it had nothing to do with the ongoing political crisis in the Maldives, the sources said.
The sources went on to stress that these were not warships as previously reported in Chinese websites.
"It is a routine deployment under which Chinese warships (five warships, including one Landing Platform Dock) had entered from the Sunda Strait and have gone back from the Strait of Lombok," Indian Navy sources added.
A Reuters report earlier today quoted Chinese web portal Sina.com.cn that reported Chinese destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-tone amphibious transport dock and three support tankers entered the Indian Ocean.
Indian Navy sources that requested anonymity for this article due to access of operational matters further said that the distance from the area where the (People's Liberation Army Navy) PLAN ships entered the Eastern Board of the Indian Ocean from the Indian Mainland is around 2500 nautical miles - a distance too far to be considered a threat.
Taking note of the reports, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Indian Navy, Captain DK Sharma said, "We have a very robust surveillance system and we have a clear maritime domain awareness picture round the clock in the Indian Ocean Region."