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SOURCE: TIMES NOW

Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean, ostensibly to guard against pirates, have been increasingly aggressive in recent times. On January 27, three ships of the Chinese Navy– the Changsha, a modern guided-missile destroyer, the Yulin, a multi-role frigate, and the Hong Hu, a replenishment ship, were 438 nautical miles northwest of Kavaratti, in the Lakshadweep islands. 

While China has been sending warships to the Indian Ocean on anti-piracy missions, the newly commissioned Changsha is a 7,200-tonne guided-missile destroyer, and the Yulin, also, a powerful warship.

The obvious question: would you really need a modern guided-missile destroyer to tackle pirates in their flimsy vessels? 

That apart, Chinese research vessels and survey ships are regularly visiting the Indian Ocean Region. 

  • The Shi Yan-3 has been spotted off Bengkulu, in Indonesia. So has the Xiang Yang Hong-1. Survey ships gather information relating to salinity, temperature, and depths. This can be of help to Chinese submarines in the future. 
  • Unlike Shi Yan-3 and Xiang Yang Hong-1, the Yuan Long-7 is a Chinese Navy ship and was seen near Denpasar, also Indonesia. It is called a space event support ship and is involved in tracking satellites and long-range missiles.