13:22 GMT28 May 2020
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    India has no plans to hold joint naval patrols with the United States in the disputed South China Sea and is committed to joining an international military effort only under the United Nations flag.

    The Indian Government has outright denied having any plans to assist the United States in patrolling the disputed South China Sea.

    Indian Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar said in parliament, the "government takes all measures to ensure our maritime security. However, at present, these measures do not include joint patrolling with foreign navies including the United States. No talks have been held with United States on conduct of any joint naval patrols." 

    Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.
    © REUTERS / U.S. Navy/Handout
    Since beginning of this year, the US has continued to push India towards joint patrols in the South China Sea. US Admiral Harry Harris said few months back that America, India, and Japan had discussed "maritime security including freedom of navigation patrols" in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

    Member of Parliament Viplov Thakur raised a question in the Upper House of Parliament whether the United States and India have held talks on conducting joint naval patrols in the Indian Ocean and in the disputed South China Sea. She also asked whether the Indian government had brought any change in its policy of only joining an international military effort under the United Nations' flag.

    To this, Minister Parrikar replied, the "Indian Navy has never carried out joint patrols with another country.The Indian Navy, however conducts Coordinated Patrols (CORPATs) with Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). Further, there is no change in the policy of the Government of only joining an international military effort under the United Nation's flag." 

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    Tags:
    patrol, United States, India, South China Sea
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