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The arrival of Yuan Wang 03, a Chinese government-linked satellite and missile tracking vessel, in the Indian Ocean has sparked concerns in India. This development coincides with India’s planned missile test, raising questions about China’s intentions.

While Yuan Wang 03 has garnered significant attention, it’s important to note that it’s not the only Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. Visual data reveals that at least four other Chinese “research” vessels are currently operating in the region.

The Yuan Wang class vessels are known for their ability to track ballistic missile launches. Their presence near India during a period of announced missile testing is a cause for concern, as some perceive it as potential monitoring of Indian missile capabilities.

The timing of Yuan Wang 03’s entry into the Indian Ocean is particularly noteworthy. India has recently issued several notifications regarding upcoming missile tests, raising the possibility that China may be using the Yuan Wang 03 to gather data on these launches.

The lack of clear information regarding the specific missions of these Chinese research vessels adds to the existing tensions between India and China. Greater transparency from China regarding the activities of its research vessels in the Indian Ocean would be a positive step towards reducing tensions and fostering trust in the region.

The Indian Ocean is a critical waterway for global trade and security. Increased activity by China in this region has the potential to impact the strategic balance of power in the Indo-Pacific.