India has set up a satellite monitoring station in Ho Chi Minh City which is expected to be its strategic base in the East Sea region, according to media reports.
The Economic Times said New Delhi has spent about US$23 million to set up the Data Reception and Tracking and Telemetry Station, which will be activated soon and linked to an existing station in Indonesia.
It said the facility will help the Indian Space Research Organization track satellites launched from India and receive data from them. India also has a satellite tracking station in Brunei.
India since 2014 has expressed support for freedom of navigation and over-flight in the East Sea and concerns over China’s aggressive tactics in the region like the illegal construction of an artificial island, the Economic Times reported.
The US, Japan and the Philippines governments on Monday have all spoken up against China’s testing its illegal runway on Truong Sa (Spratly), one of the two major archipelagos in the area.
China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of world trade ships every year, Reuters reported. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims.
China has reportedly sent armored boats to attack Vietnamese fishing boats in the latter’s waters over the past years.