Sri Lanka clears revised deal for Hambantota port

Image: Sri Lanka clears revised deal for Hambantota port
Image Source: The New Indian Express

Sri Lanka’s Cabinet on Tuesday cleared a revised deal for the Chinese-built port in Hambantota, the government said. The modified agreement, the government added, was more profitable to Sri Lanka and also addressed security concerns raised by other countries.

Sri Lankan Minister said the Cabinet gave final approval to sell 70% stake in the southern port to the state-run China Merchants Port Holding. He also highlighted that some diplomatic missions were worried that the port would be used as a naval military base which Sri Lanka has addressed in the revised agreement. He said, though the Chinese would manage port operations, no naval ship (including Chinese ones) can come at Hambantota without our permission.

India has repeatedly raised its concern with Sri Lanka regarding China’s ambition to have control in the strategic Indian Ocean. India considers China’s aim to get hold of the Hambantota port as part of a strategy to encircle India. Some experts have termed this theory as “String of Pearls”.

About Hambantota Port Issue:

Selling stake of the Hambantota Port to the Chinese is the main issue which is being opposed both domestically within Sri Lanka as well as by India.

Under former Sri Lankan President’s tenure, massive loans were borrowed and invested on huge infrastructure projects in Hambantota including a $1.4 billion deep sea port, a large industrial zone, an LNG plant, an international airport, to name a few. To finance these projects, he looked upto China for the loans; China embraced this opportunity with both hands by giving $8 billion in soft loans.

Now that the projects are struck in b/w and no source of continuous cash flow is available with the Sri Lankan government to take the projects forward, amid its high debt-to-GDP of around 95%, Sri Lankan government has decided to lease the port for 99 years to the Chinese.

This was opposed by the Sri Lankans whose lands were taken to build the industrial zone, where the Sri Lankan government is planning to invite China for setting up its industries.

India opposed the move owing to strategic concerns. Indian experts consider it as a strategy of China to control the strategic Indian Ocean and encircle India – a theory popularly known as “String of Pearls”.

 

Reference(s):

The Hindu Newspaper (You can download the newspaper for free from a link given on this FB page – UPSC Aspirants Forum)

 

India rejects OIC move on vigilantism

Image: India rejects OIC move on vigilantism
Image Source: Times of India

India on Tuesday strongly rejected the resolutions of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that had expressed concern about the recent attacks on people by cow-vigilante groups. An official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs stated that the resolution adopted at the Organisation’s latest foreign ministers’ meeting were “factually incorrect”.

The MEA statement pointed that the OIC, during its 44th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, has again adopted certain resolutions which contain factually incorrect and misleading references to matters internal to India, including the Indian state of J&K, which is an integral part of India.

The MEA added that the OIC has no locus standi (the right or capacity to bring an action) on India’s internal affairs. We strongly advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future.

About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation:

Image: Lofo of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an international organisation founded in 1969, consisting of 57 members, to represent a “collective voice of the Muslim world”. It works to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.

The OIC has permanent delegations to the UN and the EU.

 

Reference(s):

The Hindu Newspaper (You can download the newspaper for free from a link given on this FB page – UPSC Aspirants Forum)

India admitted to transgression, says China’s Foreign Minister

Image: India admitted to transgression, says China's Foreign Minister
ImageSource: DNAIndia

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has claimed that the India side admitted to entering Chinese territory, the first time a top leader of the country has weighed in on the protracted stand-off in the Sikkim area.

He claimed that senior Indian officials had openly stated that Chinese troops did not enter Indian territory. However, he didn’t say which officials had said that or where. He went on to say: “In other words, the Indian side admitted to entering Chinese territory.”

It is the first time that such a senior person in the Chinese hierarchy has commented on the dispute. Our Indian side didn’t provide any immediate reaction on this.

Also read: Don’t harbour unrealistic illusions, China tells India

Meanwhile, official sources said on Tuesday that India was well-defended in the tri-junction and China’s latest rhetoric was part of a build-up ahead of the meeting of the NSA in Beijing. China on Monday warned India to not to harbour any unrealistic illusions.

About Indo-China standoff at Doklam Plateau:

Image: Detailed explanation of India-China standoff
Image Source: IndiaToday

For detailed explanation, read this: Standoff b/w India and China: Explained

Indo-China standoff at Doklam plateau is an outcome of India obstructing Beijing’s effort to extend a border road through the Doklam Plateau.

China claims Doklam plateau, which is currently disputed b/w Beijing and Thimpu (Bhutan), to gain a strategic edge over India. The road China claims to be building in its “own territory” in Doklam plateau would give it a strategic advantage against India in a possible military conflict in future. Doklam is critical as it brings China even closer to the Indian border in a vulnerable location towards the direction of the 27-km-long Siliguri Corridor or “chicken’s neck” that links the northeastern state to the rest of India.

For India, Doklam plateau holds immense importance as Chinese control over Doklam plateau will undo the terrain and tactical advantage that India has in the region. Chinese foray into the Doklam plateau will also impact India economically as the Chumbi Valley, which is close to the plateau, has served as a trade route from Sikkim’s capital Gangtok through Yadong and Gyantse on to Dalai Lama’s court at Lhasa.

 

Reference(s):

The Hindu Newspaper (You can download the newspaper for free from a facebook page – UPSC Aspirants Forum).

 

 

DON’T HARBOUR UNREALISTIC ILLUSIONS, CHINA TELLS INDIA

Image: Doklam plateau standoff
Image Source: Deccan Chronicle

China said on Monday that it will safeguard its security interests at “any cost” as its sovereignty was “indomitable”, amid a standoff in the Sikkim sector.

Chinese made this assertion ahead of this week’s National Security Advisor level talks to resolve the issue. NSA Ajit Doval is set to travel to Beijing this week to attend the BRICS NSAs’ meeting scheduled to be held from July 27-28 during which he is expected to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart.

China, maintaining its hard-line stance, said India shouldn’t leave things to luck and not harbour any unrealistic illusions.

About Indo-China stand-off at Doklam Plateau:

Image: Detailed explanation of India-China standoff
Image Source: IndiaToday

For detailed explanation, read this: Standoff b/w India and China: Explained

Indo-China standoff at Doklam plateau is an outcome of India obstructing Beijing’s effort to extend a border road through the Doklam Plateau.

China claims Doklam plateau, which is currently disputed b/w Beijing and Thimpu (Bhutan), to gain a strategic edge over India. The road China claims to be building in its “own territory” in Doklam plateau would give it a strategic advantage against India in a possible military conflict in future. Doklam is critical as it brings China even closer to the Indian border in a vulnerable location towards the direction of the 27-km-long Siliguri Corridor or “chicken’s neck” that links the northeastern state to the rest of India.

For India, Doklam plateau holds immense importance as Chinese control over Doklam plateau will undo the terrain and tactical advantage that India has in the region. Chinese foray into the Doklam plateau will also impact India economically as the Chumbi Valley, which is close to the plateau, has served as a trade route from Sikkim’s capital Gangtok through Yadong and Gyantse on to Dalai Lama’s court at Lhasa.

 

Reference(s):

The Hindu Newspaper (You can download the newspaper for free from a facebook page – UPSC Aspirants Forum).

 

PENTAGON URGES DIRECT TALKS ON DOKLAM STAND-OFF

Image: Pentagon urges direct talks on Doklam standoff
Image Source: Financial Express

India and China should engage in direct dialogue to reduce the tension over a military stand-off in Doklam, the Pentagon has said

Chinese and Indian soldiers have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area at the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China after Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the disputed area.

Earlier this week, a senior Pentagon Commander told the U.S. lawmakers that China was exploiting its economic leverage as a way to further its regional political objectives.

About Indo-China standoff at Doklam plateau:

For detailed explanation, read this: Standoff b/w India and China: Explained

Indo-China standoff at Doklam plateau is an outcome of India obstructing Beijing’s effort to extend a border road through the Doklam Plateau.

China claims Doklam plateau, which is currently disputed b/w Beijing and Thimpu (Bhutan), to gain a strategic edge over India. The road China claims to be building in its “own territory” in Doklam plateau would give it a strategic advantage against India in a possible military conflict in future. Doklam is critical as it brings China even closer to the Indian border in a vulnerable location towards the direction of the 27-km-long Siliguri Corridor or “chicken’s neck” that links the northeastern state to the rest of India.

For India, Doklam plateau holds immense importance as Chinese control over Doklam plateau will undo the terrain and tactical advantage that India has in the region. Chinese foray into the Doklam plateau will also impact India economically as the Chumbi Valley, which is close to the plateau, has served as a trade route from Sikkim’s capital Gangtok through Yadong and Gyantse on to Dalai Lama’s court at Lhasa.

 

Reference(s):

The Hindu Newspaper (You can download ‘The Hindu Newspaper’ for free from a facebook page – UPSC Aspirants Forum)

 

India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

Image: India-Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

The landmark India-Japan civil nuclear agreement, formally known as the India-Japan Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, came into force on Thursday. Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar exchanged the diplomatic notes with the Japanese envoy to India to formalise the completion of the process.

The pact was signed in Tokyo during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan on November 11, 2016.

About the civil nuclear deal:

Image: Key points on Indo-Japan civil nuclear deal

India on November 11th, 2016 signed a historic civilian nuclear deal with Japan during the annual bilateral summit held in Tokyo. PM Narendra Modi described it as a ‘historic step’.

The nuclear deal which will help India access Japan’s nuclear market, had been under negotiation for six years and was firmed up during the 2015 visit of PM Shinzo Abe to India, when the principles of agreement were frozen. However, the final seal on the text had to wait legislative clearance from Japan, which has 13 civil nuclear agreements with countries such as France and U.S.

India is the first non-NPT member to have signed such a deal with Japan.

The deal is essential for bringing a network of nuclear energy cooperation for India, especially with the U.S. as prominent American nuclear companies are owned by the Japanese nuclear majors like Toshiba.

Negotiation which began in 2010 during the UPA government were stuck on India’s non-NPT status as Japan sought assurances that the deal would be used for peaceful purposes.

 

 

References:

The Hindu [Download the newspaper for free from UPSC Aspirants Forum (Facebook group)]

 

DOKLAM ISSUE: Let’s both pull back, says Sushma

Image: Doklam Issue: Lets both pull back, says Sushma
Image Source: newindianexpress.com

Offering solution to the ongoing standoff with China, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that both Indian and Chinese soldiers should withdraw from the Doklam region in the tri-junction with Bhutan.

To know in detail about the ongoing stand-off, click here

The Minister said Panchsheel, the Nehruvian principle of peaceful mutual co-existence, is on track but any unilateral altering of the border by China will amount to a “direct threat” to India’s security concerns. The comment on Panchsheel is significant as the English media from Beijing in recent weeks had described the Indian action in Doklam, as against Panchsheel’s emphasis on ‘peaceful co-existence.”

The Minister also highlighted India’s position on the issue saying that if there is to be any sit-down talks, both the sides’ army should withdraw from the region.

She also indicated that dialogue with other countries had been held on this issue and India received support for its position

About DOKLAM stand-off:

To read in detail about Doklam stand-off, read this: Doklam stand-off b/w India and China

Image: Detailed explanation of India-China standoff
Image Source: IndiaToday
  • The Doklam confrontation is focused on a small patch of remote pastureland in Bhutan. Its location, however, is perceived to be of great strategic importance for both India and China. The plateau holds strategic importance for both India and China. It became a bone of contention b/w India and China after 1962 border war, prior to which no one showed interest in the plateau.
  • China claims Doklam plateau, which is currently disputed b/w Beijing and Thimpu, to gain a strategic edge over India. The road China claims to be building in its “own territory” in Doklam Plateau would give it a strategic advantage against India in a possible military conflict in future. Doklam is critical as it brings China even closer to the Indian border in a vulnerable location towards the direction of the 27-km-long Siliguri Corridor or “chicken’s neck” that links the northeastern state to the rest of India.
  • For India, Doklam Plateau holds immense importance as Chinese control over Doklam plateau will undo the terrain and tactical advantage that India has in the region. Chinese foray into the Doklam plateau will also impact India economically as the Chumbi Valley, which is close to the plateau, has served as a trade route from Sikkim’s capital Gangtok through Yadong and Gyantse on to Dalai Lama’s court at Lhasa.

References: The Hindu Newspaper