Chinese admiral Wu Shengli denied look at Indian frigate's command centre

Indian commander denies bold request to take a peek at frigate's command centre

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 April, 2014, 11:34pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 April, 2014, 11:34pm

An Indian naval commander rebuffed an unusually bold request by China's top admiral, who was touring an Indian warship visiting Qingdao ahead of multinational exercises.

Admiral Wu Shengli, commander of the PLA Navy and a member of the Central Military Commission, asked to be shown the Combat Information Centre (CIC) of the frigate INS Shivalik, Indian media reported. The CIC is the ship's command centre.

The Indian side were taken unawares by Wu’s request as it is unheard of

The ship's commanding officer, Captain Puruvir Das, declined Wu's request, citing operating procedures, The Hindu reported yesterday. The Shivalik hosted the Chinese navy chief on Tuesday during its port call in Qingdao, the headquarters of the PLA Navy's North Sea Fleet in Shandong province.

"The Indian side were taken unawares by Wu's request as it is unheard of for the chief of a navy to make a request to see the CIC of another country's warship," reported the Hindustan Times, another leading newspaper in India.

Wu was told that he was welcome to visit the CIC during the exercise the next day.

A staff member at the Indian embassy in Beijing confirmed that Wu had visited the Shivalik on Tuesday, but had no information about Wu's request.

The stealth frigate arrived in Qingdao on Sunday to participate in training exercises involving 17 ships from eight countries. It is the Shivalik's second visit to China. The Chinese military was given more access to the ship on this occasion than during its first visit to Shanghai last year, the Hindustan Times reported.

In March, India's navy rejected a Chinese request to allow PLA Navy ships to enter Indian waters to the search for the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in what Indian observers saw as a disguised bid to gather military intelligence.