China Won’t Dominate Indian Ocean Shipping Waters

Ambassador Zhang Yan, China's ambassador to India, addresses an Asia Society luncheon event in Hong Kong on June 18, 2008. (Asia Society)

HONG KONG, June 18, 2008 – China's envoy to India says China has no plan to dominate the shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean. Speaking at an Asia Society luncheon in Hong Kong, Ambassador Zhang Yan dismissed suggestions that it wished to establish "a chain of encirclement" to surround India.

Each day, thousands of Chinese-flagged ships pass through the waters off India headed for Europe, laden with manufactured goods. China's recent decision to build ports in Myanmar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka has stoked fears in the Indian media that its neighbor was trying to muscle in on the important shipping lanes in the region.

Ambassador Zhang told the audience that this was "unfounded," adding that such a strategic move was not in China's interest.

Reported by Penny Tang, Asia Society Hong Kong

Excerpt: China Views India as a Partner in Economic Development (2 min., 59 sec.)