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September 30, 2023

Chinese surveillance vessel ‘Yuan Wang 5’ re-enters Indian Ocean

Yuan Wang 5, a contentious Chinese surveillance ship, has re-entered the Indian Ocean (IOR). The arrival of the spy ship occurs at the same time as an upcoming long-range missile launch by India.

It should be recalled that the Chinese dispatched the ‘Yuan Wang-6’ spy ship last month just before India was set to conduct a missile system test. The Chinese espionage ship Yuan Wang-5 entered the Indian Ocean region through the Sunda strait off Indonesia late that evening on December 4, according to the marine vessel tracking website marinetraffic.com.

In August, the same ship was also in Sri Lankan waters. Indian diplomats had expressed alarm to Sri Lankan authorities on the spy ship’s landing at Hambantota port in August of this year.

India reportedly issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) for a no-fly zone over the Bay of Bengal for a potential missile launch with a window between December 15 and 16, and the distance notified is for a maximum distance of 5400km, according to the open-source intelligence handle @detresfa on Twitter.

The Indian missile Agni-5 Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile is one of them that fits the specified range (IRBM).

Admiral R. Hari Kumar, the head of the Indian Navy, said at the annual Navy Day press conference on December 3: “There are roughly 4-6 Navy ships, then some research vessels and also fishing vessels as well as around 60 odd ships of extra-regional forces.”

Additionally, the Navy chief had stated that the force monitors them and makes sure that “they do not engage in any hostile acts.”

It is important to note that China has constructed ports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other countries that are close to India. It has erected a military base in Djibouti, an African nation.

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