The Pentagon today said it was unaware of the reported incident of the Chinese Navy confronting an Indian Navy vessel coming out of Vietnam and renewed its call to peacefully resolve the territorial disputes related to South China Sea.
“I do not know anything about that particular confrontation,”Pentagon spokesman Col Dave Lapan told reporters during an off-camera news conference when asked about news reports that the Chinese Navy confronted INS Airavat on its way out from Vietnam.
“Generally we have said that there are many nations that operate through international waters in the South China Sea. We recognise that there are disputes amongst countries in that region and it is our desire one to recognise the right of passage to those waters, but more important that those conflicts, those confrontation be resolved peacefully so there aren’t any misunderstanding or things that leads us to injuries or deaths,”Lapan said.
The allged confrontation was first reported by The Financial Times from London. The incident has been downplayed by the Indian Government.
The report said the incident is the latest example of China’s naval assertiveness and it has irked defence officials in India and Vietnam.
China claims the South China Sea in its entirety, rejecting partial claims by Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan over the resource-rich region, it said.