Chinese marine scientific research activities for peaceful purposes: Wang Wenbin

Beijing: China’s scientific research activities in relevant waters are for peaceful purposes and aimed at contributing to humanity’s scientific understanding of the ocean, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday. “The activities are in strict compliance with the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said during his regular briefing in response to a question about the docking of Chinese scientific research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 03 in the Indian Ocean later this week.

He said, for years, China and the Maldives had maintained close cooperation in marine scientific research. “China appreciates the facilitation and assistance extended by the Maldives to Chinese research vessels entering its port on the basis of sovereignty and China-Maldives friendship and in accordance with the relevant provisions of international law,” he added. Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University told Global Times, “Many vessels need to replenish fuel and food during sea voyage.

It is very normal to choose a port call in a third country.” He said, the Indian Ocean is not India’s ocean. It is the high seas. However, India and some of its media outlets have long been plagued by a domineering mindset, viewing China’s normal, lawful and reasonable activities through tinted glasses, gauging the heart of a gentleman with that of a villain. Whether the Chinese research ship actually has the capabilities they claim, the Maldives is more qualified to judge, rather than just spread hearsay and speculation, Qian said. With Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu’s visit to China in January, relations between China and the Maldives have been further warmed, which India is wary of, Qian pointed out. During the visit, the two heads of state announced the elevation of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Along with the previous opposition to China’s scientific research ship docked in Sri Lanka, India sending the submarine is a move exposing its typical hegemonic mentality, Qian condemned.