China is working on a draft for a law on international seabed exploration that would enable it to explore mineral and other deep sea resources in the Indian Ocean and other seas far from its shores, official sources said. The move is likely to worry New Delhi that keeps a close watch on China’s strategic moves in the Indian Ocean with the help of countries like  Sri Lanka. Colombo recently supported increased Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean saying China needed to protect its sea trade routes. The proposed law is part of China’s efforts to build itself as a maritime power. The country recently launched its first aircraft carrier. The standing committee of the Chinese parliament, the National People’s  Congress, said in a report last week that the absence of a domestic law puts China at a disadvantage in the exploration of international seabed areas. A law is also required for the country to play a greater role within relevant international organizations, it said. (TOI)]]>

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