The Indian navy has said it is ready to deploy vessels on the South China Sea to protect India's oil interests there.
"Where our country´s interests are involved, we will protect them and we will intervene.," Navy Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi said, speaking to reporters in New Delhi.
The comment comes as China steps up its military presence in the mineral-rich sea that it virtually claims in its entirety.
In the past, India has sparred diplomatically with China over its gas and oil exploration block off the coast of Vietnam.