China’s “String of Pearls” and India's Two Front War Predicament : Analysis

Himanshu

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Assumption Island Agreement Yet to Crystalise

Early last week, Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale was in Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands nestled geo-strategically in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of East Africa.

While the ostensible reason for Gokhale’s first visit to Seychelles after taking over as foreign secretary was to chair the 9th Indo-Seychelles Joint Commission meeting with the secretary of state for foreign affairs of Seychelles, Barry Faure, the mission undoubtedly was to give the stalled 2015 Assumption Island agreement another nudge.

It’s noteworthy that despite the Joint Mechanism being in place, it does not seem to meet on a regular basis. The last such meeting of the Joint Commission, the eighth one, was held in New Delhi in 2013.

However, when important agreements such as the one on Assumption Island remain a non-starter, such mechanisms can be useful in helping the two sides meet.

A tweet by Barry Faure after the Joint Commission meeting on May 14 said both sides vouched, “to further consolidate their friendship and cooperation as they work to give an impetus to their collaboration…”. There was no mention of the Assumption Island agreement, a deal that remains in limbo as New Delhi grapples with the archipelago’s domestic politics and geo-political maneuverings of some countries to scuttle the deal.

In addition, the deal has also remained stuck as many in the Seychelles have serious objections to the deal in terms of what it means for the archipelago’s sovereignty, the military nature of the base and the environmental impact of its development.

The leaking of details online of the original, as well as the revised agreement in March this year, have also queered the pitch for New Delhi.

India’s concerted efforts to see that the agreement is implemented are yet to bear fruit. It will be hoping to give this stuck deal yet another push when Seychelles President Danny Faure visits New Delhi next month.

Inked three years ago during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Seychelles, the crucial pact will enable India to set up a military base on Assumption Island and bolster its strategic presence in the Indian Ocean region (IOR). But it has remained a virtual non-starter till now.

It can be put into effect only after it’s been ratified by the 33-member Seychelles National Assembly. The agreement entails the renovation of the runway on this island to allow larger aircraft to land on it, up-gradation of the jetty for use by the Seychelles Coast Guard as well as living quarters for them.

The inking of the Assumption Island agreement along with another signed with Mauritius to develop infrastructure on its Agalega Island are both aimed at increasing India’s strategic footprint in the IOR and also counter growing Chinese influence in the region.

While in itself a small country with an area merely 459 square km, Seychelles’ significance in the geo-strategic sphere can by no means be underplayed. Not only does it have a vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) spread over 1.4 million square km, but it also straddles important sea lanes in east Africa and IOR.

The Assumption Island itself is in the deep south of the archipelago, nearly 769 km away from Mahe, the main island of Seychelles.

As India and China jostle for strategic space in the IOR, the latter’s inauguration of its first overseas military base in the strategically located Djibouti in the Horn of Africa last year would surely have New Delhi concerned. The Chinese have also been increasing their presence in the Seychelles, helping the archipelago build infrastructure including the archipelago’s National Assembly and Supreme Court.

Eager to get a foothold in the Seychelles, the Assumption Island agreement has kept an anxious India on tenterhooks ever since it was signed. The James Michel government which inked the pact with India did not bring it before the National Assembly for ratification.

The government of President Danny Faure, which took charge in 2016, announced in August last year that the pact would need to be “renegotiated” as it lacked a legal statute for Seychelles. Then followed discussions on the revised pact between India and the Seychelles, with the latter also getting on board the leader of the Opposition in the Seychelles National Assembly (Parliament), the Indian-origin Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan.

Ramkalawan’s stamp of approval for the deal is essential as the coalition he leads, the Linyon Demokratik Seselwa, has a majority in the National Assembly with 19 of the 33 seats in its kitty. Thus, the pact’s ratification in the National Assembly hinged on the Ramkalawan-led Opposition.

South Block even rolled out the red carpet for Ramkalawan when he came visiting New Delhi in early January to participate in the PIO parliamentary conference. Delivering a lecture at the ICWA (Indian Council of World Affairs), Ramakalawan declared his party’s support for the agreement before a gathering of senior Indian and foreign diplomats.

Noting that “India’s contribution to the national development of Seychelles far surpasses that of other nations, even that of UAE to whom we’re very close”, Ramkalawan expressed his backing for the Assumption Island project. “I’m very concerned with the Seychelles government, slowness of the Seychelles government in moving on with the project…it’s a project that the Opposition is fully supportive of and is trying to push the government to move on it.” He also said, “The role of India vis a vis Assumption Island…this should happen in order for India to continue helping us” (sic).

The Opposition leader also revealed that he had a “long conversation” with President Faure on the agreement and that “I said you can bring it before the National Assembly and it will be ratified.” Only a couple of “minor issues” needed to be sorted out before the revised pact could be brought before the National Assembly in February 2018 for ratification.

Barely a fortnight after Ramkalawan’s declaration, then foreign secretary S Jaishankar made a quick trip to Seychelles in late January, days ahead of his retirement. The two sides then signed a “revised” pact which addressed domestic concerns within the Seychelles.

The “Agreement between India and Seychelles for the Development, Management, Operation and Maintenance of Facilities on Assumption Island” was to be valid for a 20-year period. Importantly, while the project has been seen as a military base for India, a clause in the pact made it clear that India would not be allowed to use it during a war.

But India’s happiness with the revised pact was short-lived as it was not brought before the National Assembly for ratification in February as was expected. And by March, President Faure had announced he would not be bringing the agreement before the National Assembly for ratification with Ramkalawan having declared the Opposition would not support it in its current form.

It is in the backdrop of these twists and turns that New Delhi will be hosting President Faure. Though the Assumption Island pact seems some distance away, India is keeping its fingers crossed.
 

Himanshu

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India signs 6 MoUs with Seychelles, offers 100 million dollar aid for defence
India lines up Dornier aircraft for Seychelles
India, Seychelles sign pacts for cooperation in cyber security and sharing of white shipping info

India, Bangladesh Establish Annual Coordinated Patrol in Bay of Bengal

The increased presence of Chinese nuclear and conventional submarines in the Bay of Bengal region presents a grave threat to India’s strategic and security concerns. As a result, New Delhi has offered to train Bangladesh’s naval submariners.
In a move aimed at gaining a stronger foothold in the Indian Ocean region, the navies of India and Bangladesh have established a new coordinated patrol (CORPAT) regime in the Bay of Bengal. The first edition of the CORPAT will kick off on June 27 wherein four maritime patrol aircraft and four frigates, two each from both countries, will take part in the three-day long exercise. INS Satpura and INS Kadmatt of the Indian Navy will join the Bangladesh Navy's BNS Abu Bakar and BNS Dhaleswari.
"The commencement of CORPAT is a major step towards the enhanced operational interaction between both navies," the Indian Navy said in a statement.
Bangladesh and India had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defense cooperation during Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi on April 9, 2017. The Bangladesh Navy was also the chair of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) from 2016 to 2018.
Maritime cooperation between the navies of India and Bangladesh has witnessed an upward trend in recent years despite a substantial strengthening of Bangladesh's defense relations with China in the past decade.
China supplied five coastal patrol craft and anti-submarine semi-stealth large patrol craft along with two Ming-class Type 035B diesel-electric submarines to Bangladesh in October 2016.
 
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India Checkmates China in Sri Lanka; Acquires Airport Next to Hambantota Port

After China leased the Hambantota Port from Sri Lanka, India now seeks the control of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in the vicinity of the Hambantota Port. China’s control over the Hambantota Port raises security concerns for India and hence New Delhi is willing to buy stakes in the world’s emptiest airport and keep a bird’s eye view on China.
Why is Hambantota Port a Virtual Battleground between India and China?
Hambantota Port is of strategic relevance to both India and China. China can pose serious security threats to India for the Hambantota Port lies in the backyard of India. Now to counter this security threat, India is ready to operate the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, despite the fact that it has no scheduled flights.

Clearly, India’s intent is to observe the Chinese activities on the Hambantota Port and gather vital intelligence. Even the Hambantota Port is one of the emptiest ports with almost no ships, and China’s interests too are not just limited to commercial purposes. China would not have bought an empty port for USD 1.1 billion.

India Stake in Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport
As per sources, India could buy a 70% stake in the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport for a time period of 40 years. Recently the officials from India and Sri Lanka discussed the feasibility for a joint venture to operate and run the abandoned airport. Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport had only one flight operating and that too was quashed on June 8. The flight was operated by Fly Dubai.

China’s interests in Sri Lanka not only bothers India but also worries Washington and Tokyo. With India buying stakes in Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, New Delhi would be able to keep a “hawk’s eye” on China and ensure Beijing’s naval movements are well tracked.
 

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China positions submarine and rescue vehicle in Indian Ocean

This is the eighth such deployment of a PLAN (People's Liberation Army Navy) submarine in the Indian Ocean for what China calls anti-piracy patrols and the first since the 72-day standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Doklam called off in August last year.

Yuan__Type_039A__Class_Attack_Submarine.jpeg

Submarine rescue vehicle, Hai Yangdao, arriving in Colombo port on October 4.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Resumption of Chinese submarine patrols have piqued the Indian Navy's interest
  • Submarine rescue vessel and submarine were detected by Indian maritime patrol aircraft in October
  • Indian Navy on October 13 announced it had acquired its first submarine rescue vessel
While the submarine docked at the Colombo port on October 4, the Yuan class submarine remained out at the sea. In May 2017, Colombo had declined permission for a Chinese submarine to dock at its harbor after India's protest in 2014.

Hai Yangdao is a Type 926 class submarine tender, believed to be the PLAN's most advanced submarine rescue vessel. The ship carries onboard a British-built LR7 submarine rescue vessel which the Chinese Navy acquired in 2008. The rescue submarine can operate in depths of 300 metres and can extract 18 submariners from a bottomed submarine.

Officials said, "In previous deployments, Chinese submarines have been accompanied by submarine tenders.This is the first time they have sent a submarine rescue vessel. The Hai Yangdao and the submarine were sailed out from Colombo towards the Gulf of Aden on October 7."

Interestingly, the Indian Navy on October 13 announced it had acquired its first submarine rescue vessel. "The Indian Navy joins a select league of nations with the capability to locate and provide rescue to distressed submarines by induction of its first DSRV and associated kit in flyaway configuration," according to the spokerperson at Indian Navy.

Defence officials read more than just a coincidence into the deployment of the PLAN's rescue ship. "The PLAN clearly wants to demonstrate the fact that it can also be a net provider of submarine rescue in the Indian Ocean region," the officials said.

China intends to project power into the Indian Ocean region (IOR) through its submarine deployments which began in December 2013 with the three-month patrol of a Shang class nuclear powered attack submarine in the IOR.

The patrol followed President Xi Jingping's 2013 announcement of the Belt and Road initiative, a China-centric trading network estimated to cost over $4 trillion. The IOR is key to what China calls the 'Maritime Silk Road'.

The Indian Navy is closely watching the Yuan class for several reasons. The Yuan SSK displaces 3,600 tons is a Chinese copy of the Kilo class submarine and is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

A Yuan class on an IOR deployment made a port call at Karachi in 2015 and the following year, Pakistan announced it was buying eight Yuan class submarines from China under a deal believed to be worth $5 billion. The first four submarines are being built in China and likely to be delivered to Pakistan by 2023.


Sri Lanka reverses $300 million China housing deal ahead of PM Wickremesinghe's India visit - Times of India
An Indian firm stands to make $210m after Sri Lank reverses its decision to give a large contract to a Chinese business.

Armies of India and Japan to hold first ever joint exercise from November 1
 
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_Anonymous_

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Against China India lacks air power. China has twice as many fighters and twice as many attack aircraft... plus a few stealth fighters allegedly.
I think the problem with payload and reduced fuel when taking off from Tibet has been amply demonstrated by many Indians out here while also highlighting that India faces no such issues while taking off from our borders to combat Chinese FA in Tibet. Plus all those sheer nos which PLAAF commands are not going to be deployed against India. For the Chinese it's Southern, SW & NE flank hold far far greater strategic value than the NW - which happens to be its border with India.Which means the numerical advantage Chinese FA enjoys is neutralised to a large extent.

That's as far as the air component goes. In case of forces on the ground, India holds a clear edge in terms of sheer nos of acclimatised troops deployed in the Tibetan border as compared to the Chinese.

Where China holds a distinct advantage against India is in its strategic forces namely it's BM - Short & intermediate range and in it's AEW and allied abilities with respect to Cyber and satellites.

Having said that, in case of a border skirmish, there's no guarantee whatsoever that such a skirmish would remain confined to the border and not escalate into a larger war involving the Navy. That's where the Chinese are at a distinct disadvantage given the fact that we have the Straits of Malacca & Lombok covered. As of now Chinese navy lacks the wherewithal to combat IN's stranglehold over these bottlenecks.

If it's your argument, that the Chinese are building capacities across sectors, so are we.

I've tried to argue my point in as civil a manner as one can although such niceties are lost on you and your ilk who neither have an argument nor provide a reference to buttress the same but keep flogging a dead horse resulting in all round trolling of which you're the Initiator.
 
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Himanshu

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Dhaka, Delhi sign port deal

India and Bangladesh yesterday signed three agreements for allowing New Delhi to use Mongla and Chattogram ports as transit points to access India's northeastern states for trade.

The two countries decided to explore the possibilities of river links between Rajshahi and Dhuliajan in West Bengal's Murshidabad district.

After talks held at the Le Meridien Hotel here, Bangladesh Shipping Secretary Abdus Samad and his Indian counterpart Gopal Krishna signed the agreement on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports for movement of goods to and from India.

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for passenger and cruise services was also signed.

The two sides also decided to introduce a passenger cruise service between Chennai city of India and Cox's Bazar, a distance of about 1,600 nautical miles, Gopal Krishna said.

An addendum to the bilateral Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh was also inked for inclusion of Dhubri (Assam) and Pangaon (Bangladesh) as new ports of call.

Discussions were also held to make Nakugaon land port in Bangladesh and Dalu Integrated Check Post in India operational and to connect with Gelephu (Bhutan) as a tripartite cross-border route, Samad and Gopal Krishna told the media.

Replying to a question, Samad said Bangladesh was yet to firm up its response to India's offer of allowing Dhaka to use Kolkata and Haldia ports for transhipment of its exports.

“We appreciate India's offer. We received the Indian proposal recently and have not had enough time to study it. We will have a meeting with all stakeholders and form a committee to examine the stakeholders' views before arriving at a decision.”

Samad acknowledged that Bangladesh's exports to third countries using Haldia and Kolkata ports would travel faster, but suggested that Dhaka has to keep in mind the interests of Chattogram and Mongla ports also.

He pointed out that Chattogram's capacity of handling goods expanded and was growing further.

Samad said the three agreements inked yesterday would further boost connectivity between Bangladesh and India because it had been “a least connected region”.

Referring to the two countries' efforts to the pre-partition river route between Dhuliajan and Rajshahi, he said it would promote people-to-people and business-to-business contacts at a time when Bangladesh and India's economies had been growing at impressive rates and the two countries had been moving away from agriculture to industries.

Gopal Krishna termed the agreements “very significant” and particularly pointed to the importance of the Rajshahi-Dhuliajan river link which would allow the mineral-rich eastern Indian state of Jharkhand to access Bangladesh market and benefit those in and around Murshidabad.

He said Jharkhand is rich in stone which is a key material used in civil constructions.

The Indian shipping secretary said the Dhuliajan-Rajshahi river route would considerably cut down the journey time between the two countries. At present, Haldia port is being used to carry cargo along the river through the Sundarbans right up to Rajshahi or the land route using the Benapole-Petrapole border which is “cumbersome”, he added.

Gopal Krishna said a technical team from India would visit Bangladesh soon to examine the revival of the Rajshahi-Dhuliajan route.

He said an Indian technical team would also visit Bangladesh to explore if a 20km stretch of Gomati and Titas rivers in India and a 70km stretch in Bangladesh can be made navigable by dredging for being included in the bilateral inland river waterway protocol route. Both the rivers are shared by the two countries across Tripura state.

“If the two rivers can be made navigable, it will augment trade between landlocked Tripura and other eastern Indian states,” he said.

The directors general of shipping of India and Bangladesh would meet on December 4 to see if more ports like Cox's Bazar could be added to the bilateral coastal shipping agreement, he added.

Permission for the transportation of third country cargo on protocol routes and coastal shipping routes were also discussed. Inclusion of Dhamra port, Chidambaranar port (formerly Tuticorin port) and Kamarajar port under the coastal shipping agreement was also deliberated upon. These will be further discussed in Joint Shipping Committee meeting scheduled in December this year.

The shipping secretary-level talks followed the 19th edition of the Standing Committee meeting under Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) between high-level delegations of India and Bangladesh yesterday.

Currently, 3.5 million tonnes of cargo is transported on protocol routes through inland waterways and it was expected to increase substantially after the declaration of additional ports of call and extension of protocol routes.

The North Eastern Indian states would get connected directly to the ports of Kolkata and Haldia in India and Mongla through waterways which would facilitate movement of export-import cargo and would also reduce the logistic costs.
 
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Himanshu

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Backed by India, Maldives Becomes IORA Member; Myanmar’s Entry Blocked at Last Hurdle
Indian Ocean Rim Association accepts Turkey’s bid

China-Myanmar multi-billion-dollar deal: Port to be built along Bay of Bengal and China will fund 70% | Business News

How an island nation’s new leaders are trying to unravel a web of secret deals with China - Los Angeles Times

Soon after the Sept. 23 election, Solih met the Chinese ambassador and learned that the Maldives owed the Chinese government not $1.5 billion, as had been widely estimated, but nearly $3 billion.

In 2014, a government audit found that tens of millions of dollars in tourism revenue had been diverted to private accounts belonging to Yameen’s vice president and others. Yameen denied wrongdoing and jailed the vice president. The auditor lost his job and went into exile.

The soaring costs of Chinese-backed projects have made them a focus of corruption allegations.

Five years ago, plans for a mile-long, six-lane bridge connecting Male with the airport put the cost at about $100 million. Under Yameen, the bridge was narrowed to four lanes but the cost jumped to nearly $200 million, more than two-thirds of which was covered by a loan from China’s Export-Import Bank.

In the airport renovation, Yameen’s predecessor in 2012 abruptly canceled a $500-million contract with an Indian company, GMR. After an arbitrator ordered the Maldives to pay GMR $271 million in damages, Yameen raised cash by issuing a $200-million sovereign bond last year through BoCom, a Chinese investment bank.

By then, the cost of the airport expansion had doubled to $1 billion. Yameen’s government brought in a new developer to start work: China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group.

Solih said in an interview that he would consider asking the FBI and other U.S. agencies to help trace missing funds and unravel contract details. A senior State Department official said the U.S. government was “prepared to help them in any way.”

Solih’s aides are still trying to determine whether debt to China could rise beyond $3 billion. The Maldives’ government backed some loans with sovereign guarantees, meaning the recipient assumes liability if projects flop.

One guarantee, worth $370 million, was issued last year for the construction of 7,000 public housing units on reclaimed land north of Male, where more than 140,000 people are squeezed into two square miles.

But the state-owned Maldivian developer is close to bankruptcy. Last month the government had to inject $24 million to prop up the company, raising questions about the project’s viability and the Maldives’ ability to repay the loan.
 

RISING SUN

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India hopes to restart its projects in Maldives
India will seek to kickstart its projects in the Maldives during PM Modi’s daylong visit to Male on November 17 to attend Ibu Solih’s swearing-in ceremony. The projects, including in the defence sector, were stalled under the regime of outgoing President Abdulla Yameen.

Pro-China Yameen had stalled a number of Indian projects, including a training academy for the Maldivian armed forces and demarcation of an exclusive economic zone, people familiar with the Indo-Maldives affairs indicated to ET. He had also refused to extend visas for Indian professionals and implement initiatives by India’s private sector companies, they said.

Solih, who will be sworn in as the President on November 17, has signalled to bring back ‘India First’ to Maldives’ foreign policy and deblock stalled projects, said one of the people. There are indications that the new government will safeguard India’s security interests in the region, including disallowing any Chinese military base in the archipelago nation. Indo-Maldivian defence partnership is now likely to be expanded to cover various areas in the maritime domain.

Yameen had sought to rule the Maldives by sidestepping New Delhi and emphasised that India is not the only option for Male, a person said. His policies, including refusal to extend visas for Indians, gave rise to resentment among locals as they were deprived of Indian doctors and other professionals, he added.

Modi will be the highest ranking foreign leader who has been invited for the swearing-in ceremony. Leaders from Sri Lanka as well as Bangladesh will also be present at the event. New Delhi hopes to host Solih in near future.
India hopes to restart its projects in Maldives
 
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suryakiran

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Russia needs India for the next confrontation with China. Chinese have a simple philosophy on treaties - they are negotiable with change in their circumstances. Hence, it is time to take a re-look at the recognition of Tibet as part of China. Yet, not to recognize Taiwan (ROC) as an independent nation either.

Move the timelines a bit to the past. Let's play the Chinese game of 'history'.
 
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Himanshu

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Navy to operate information fusion centre to boost Indian Ocean security
navy-imac.jpg
The Indian Navy's Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) at Gurgaon | Twitter handle of Headquarters-Integrated Defence Staff

The Indian Navy will soon commence operations of an international information fusion centre to collate and analyse data related to maritime security matters in the Indian Ocean, which would also be shared with friendly nations in the region. This was revealed by Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on Tuesday during a press conference on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), which is being held in Kochi.

IONS is a multilateral platform, consisting of navies across the Indian Ocean rim, that deliberates on issues of security and humanitarian need with the intention of facilitating cooperation.

Lanba revealed that the international information fusion centre would initially be set up as an “adjunct” to the Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurgaon. He also said that the proposed information fusion centre would move to a dedicated facility once infrastructure to house officers from other nations is ready.

Lanba said the countries that would be allowed to use resources of the information fusion centre would be decided with the Central government.

While the proposed fusion centre is independent of IONS, Lanba said the “idea was to have IONS members and Indian Ocean Littoral states” as part of it. Lanba noted India had already signed agreements with 11 nations to share information on movement of merchant vessels.

The IMAC was inaugurated by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar in 2014 and has been described by the Indian Navy as “the nodal centre of the National Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Network [NC3I Network], and is a joint initiative of Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Bharat Electronics Ltd to improve coastal surveillance.”

Lanba revealed that the Indian Navy and Coast Guard would lead a nationwide exercise on maritime security in January. The exercise, called Sea Vigil, would involve all security agencies in coastal states and island territories. Lanba described Sea Vigil as a “pan-India exercise that would be conducted over a 36-hour period and would include all agencies in coastal areas”.

Admiral Lanba also touted the green initiatives of the Indian Navy in a question related to climate change. “All our naval stations are being made green stations where carbon footprint is as low as possible,” Lanba said, adding that the Indian Navy had also experimented with biofuels on auxiliary vessels.

Navy’s fusion centre will be independent of IONS: Lanba
BIMSTEC Nations Working On Common Database To Counter Terrorism - Sniwire News
 
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suryakiran

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What is the T-RMN

About the Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN):
The network facilitates information exchange on the movement of commercial traffic on the high seas.
  • The information is available primarily through the Automatic Identification System (AIS) fitted on merchant ships with more than 300 gross registered tonnage as mandated by the International Maritime Organisation.
  • The AIS information comprises name, MMSI number, position, course, speed, last port visited, destination and so on. This information can be picked up through various AIS sensors including coastal AIS chains and satellite based receivers.

Significance:
Such multilateral agreements are necessitated due to the large traffic in the Indian Ocean which cannot be entirely monitored by any one nation.
  • This is a significant move as it will help the Indian Navy keep a watch over the vast Indian Ocean and boost maritime security of the country. India is part of several such agreements, which help the nations to coordinate and share information to keep tabs on suspicious activities and illegal trade across the oceans.
 
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Himanshu

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With Maldives out of Chinese chakarvue, it is already broken.
Maldives was never an enemy even Yameen did nothing against India, the point is to get iHavan. Hambantota port is leased for fcking 99 years if you're not aware. Even if RAW stir up Sri Lankan regime like they did recently, Mattala would be signed for only 40 yrs not more. I agree before Modi it was a chakravyuh against India but now its to keep in check Chinese oil routes though they have already opened 2 routes: Gwadar-CPEC and Hambantota-Kyaukphyu-CMEC and aiming for 3rd one from Kra canal.