“We have conveyed our concerns to China, and at the same time we are consistently strengthening our capabilities in the eastern sector to meet any challenge,” Defense Minister A K Antony told reporters on the sidelines of Naval Commanders Conference here today.
Replying to queries regarding Chinese presence in PoK, he said, “It is there for many years… We are in a phased-manner consistently strengthening our capabilities (in the eastern sector).”
On Chinese objection to Indian presence in South-China Sea near Vietnam, Antony said, “We have delegation level talks going on (with Vietnam) now. When Prime Minister is discussing with the Vietnamese President, it is not correct on my part to comment on it.”
He said India’s interest lies only in uninterrupted passage of ships and trade.
“There is no question of India going there (in South-China sea) in large scale. We will go there for exercise and uninterrupted passage of ships and trade. There is no question of any naval presence there. That is not our intention, our main concern is to protect our core area of interest,” he said.
On aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, he said it will be delivered by the end of next year.
“INS Vikramaditya is coming towards the end of 2012. That is for sure,” he said.
The Defense Minister refused to participate in any debate on the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Jammu and Kashmir.
“I am not (in favor) of any public debate on this issue,” he said. -PTI