BJP seeks PM statement on China's stand on South China Sea

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2012 12:20 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) The BJP Tuesday demanded a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in parliament on the effect of Beijing's assertiveness in South China Sea on India's interests and said the issue should be taken up with Chinese leaders.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Tarun Vijay said that "growing assertiveness" of China and escalating tensions in the South China Sea were threatening to disturb peace and could harm India's interests in the region.

"We demand that the prime minister make a statement on the issue in parliament and take up the matter at his level with Chinese premier, conveying India's strong displeasure on these developments that go against the very nature of the mutually accepted friendship principle," Tarun Vijay said.

He said China's threats in South China Sea have seriously affected Indian oil operations in that area.

Tarun Vijay said newly launched e-passports of China showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin in Jammu and Kashmir as its parts had created "new unfriendly situation".

Referring to naval chief Admiral D.K. Joshi's remarks that the Indian Navy was prepared to deploy naval vessels to protect India's oil-exploration interests in the South China Sea, he said the issue needed attention at the highest political level.

"The prime minister must speak to his counterpart about it so that escalation of tension is not directed towards India in a disputed area where fears of armed conflict have been growing steadily," he said.

Joshi Monday said that the rapid modernisation of the Chinese Navy was a "major, major cause for concern" and declared support for an Indian firm's oil interest in the contested waters.

He underlined that the navy was ready to protect the country's assets in the maritime domain.

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