China may be tactically employing intelligence procedures as that of the United States and Russia to gather sensitive defence information from India. According to reports, China is trying to set up small businesses and send its delegations to two strategically significant locations of INS Kadamba naval base in Karnataka and Wheeler Island in Odisha.
The intelligence agencies have also learnt that a few Chinese companies have emerged as the lowest bidder for some of the infrastructure projects in those areas from where India's defence information could be extracted.
India test fires all its missiles like Akash, Agni series, BrahMos, Prithvi and Shaurya from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) facility at Wheeler Island or Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.
The top defence officials have observed the presence of Chinese officials who have taken up the jobs/ businesses in the area, which could be detrimental to the vital security information.
The INS Kadamba naval base in Karnataka which also hosts Indian aircraft carrier docks was recently visited by a Chinese business delegation for commercial activities. However, there are credible inputs that the real purpose may be that the Chinese government is trying to gather information especially because India monitors both Pakistan and China through the Arabian Sea.
China has reportedly deployed its scientists, journalists, academicians and businessmen at various centres in Kolkatta, Vellore and Coimbatore which the experts opine may be an indirect way of spying on vital Indian defence regions.
In 2017, the Chinese envoy to India, Luo Zhaohui, had visited the World War II cemetery at Longtong village in Tinsukia district of Assam, which was not considered a normal development considering Tinsukia hosts important bases of Indian Army and is not far from Indo-China border.
India-China face-off over Asian supremacy
Both India and China are locked in an intense tussle over the regional supremacy in Asia to which Indian ocean holds the key. China has been lately trying to strike various defence and economic deals with the neighbouring countries in the region especially along the strategically significant areas near Indian ocean that borders Middle East, Asia and Africa and is a vital source of global trade.
India is not holding back as could be guaged by the recent visits of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to the Middle East and other countries to secure acess to naval bases there. China has already struck deals with Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Malaysia and there is a likelihood that China may even set up its naval and militrary bases there.