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India Refutes Submarine Encounter With Chinese Warships

India Wednesday denied a Chinese media report that one of its submarines surfaced in the waters off Somalia after a stand-off with two of the latter's warships, reports said.

A Chinese daily claimed that the Indian kilo class submarine of Soviet origin had stalked two Chinese warships and was forced to surface after being cornered. It further said that the Indian submarine was locked in an intense maneuvering with the two Chinese destroyers before being forced to surface in about half an hour. The submarine then apparently left without further confrontation.

The Chinese report claimed that the incident took place around January 15 near Bab Al-Mandab Strait, which separates Yemen and Djibouti. The two Chinese destroyers and an anti-submarine helicopter pursued the submarine, after being detected by sonar.

Indian Navy officials said it is not unusual for submarines deployed in far-flung areas to track the movement of foreign warships. They asserted that countries indulge in such tactics and that the movement of any foreign vessel is tracked through various means.

This was the first time when the tussle between Indian and Chinese warships was reported that has not been confirmed by the Chinese Government.

Disputing the contents of the report, an Indian Navy spokesman said that it is not possible for any warship or anti-submarine helicopter to make a submarine surface in just half an hour. The anti-submarine moves are long and elaborate. Moreover, nobody can force anybody to surface in international waters, he added.

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