India’s plans to establish a tsunami warning system in the South China Sea has received China’s backing. Beijing says the proposal can be considered a part of its existing mechanism which is in operation since last year.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Chinese response comes after India became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kazakhstan's capital Astana late last week with the backing of both China and Russia.
"Strengthening the tsunami early warning research conforms to the interests of all parties. China and the relevant countries in the region in accordance with the requirements of the United Nations agencies, in the South China Sea, have established the related facilities and systems. The parties concerned can discuss relevant cooperation issues under the existing cooperation mechanisms," PTI quoted a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
China, which claims almost all of the South China Sea part of its territory and exclusive economic zone, has in the past warned India not to meddle in the region. The region's several islands, such as the Spratly and others are being claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
India has put in place its own tsunami alert system after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean to issue warnings to the south-eastern and southern Asian nations.
"India is the chairperson of Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System for Asia and Africa. We are also a major contributor in terms of resources. So we are exploring the possibility of having a tsunami early warning system in the South China Sea," M. Rajeevan, secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said last month.
Experts viewed the development and the Chinese response as positive and suggested that India and China are working on a lot of projects together.
"China's response is positive, but not surprising as both India and China are also collaborating on multiple non-security related matters such as climate change, infrastructure development etc. The tsunami early warning system is one such area. The ties between the two countries should not always be seen from the traditional security perspective," Jagannath Panda, Research Fellow and Coordinator of the East Asia Centre at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, told Sputnik.
This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.