Since December'13, China has been regularly sending vessels to the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) quoting anti-piracy measures.
Recently, the Navy's Poseidon-8I patrol aircraft detected a Chinese Yuan-class conventional submarine, part of the People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN)'s anti-piracy taskforce, when it crossed the Malacca Strait.
India has been keeping a watch after Colombo refused it permission to dock. It is likely to head to Karachi.
The India-China battle in the seas
The Chinese game plan
Since 2013, Indian Navy has tracked seven Chinese submarines in IOR, including a Shang-class nuclear submarine. The PLAN hasn't yet deployed its Jin-class advanced nuclear submarines in IOR.
"They usually come through the Malacca Strait…and exit through the Sunda Strait," said a defence ministry official.
Beijing has also forged maritime links with IOR nations, and is establishing its first foreign naval facility at Djibouti.
Modi launches Act East Policy
PM Modi launched Act East policy in Myanmar at the East Asia and India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations summits.
India's "Act East" policy was aimed at strengthening ties with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, bolstering trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
The North-East of India will be a prime focus in the Act East Policy becoming an interface with ASEAN countries.
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India strengthens military ties with ASEAN and Far East
India lags behind China in underwater combat: it has two nuclear submarines compared to Beijing's 50.
But it is building military ties with ASEAN countries and deploying vessels (INS Sahyadari, INS Shivalik, anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kamorta, and more) to the Far East, in accordance with its 'Act East' policy.
Four more P-8I aircraft will join the eight currently in operation from July'19 onwards.
Sri Lanka caught in the fire?
The last time Colombo allowed a Chinese ship to dock was in October'14, which India vehemently protested. Now, during PM Narendra Modi's visit, it refused Beijing's request. But this comes right ahead of Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's China trip, putting it in an awkward position.