UPSC Current Affairs

Russia: Production of S-400 missiles begins; China-India-Russia meet in March 2020

On January 17, 2020, Russia announced that the production of S-400 air defence missile system for India has begun. The missiles are to be delivered by 2025. Russia also announced that the foreign Ministerial meet of Russia, India and China is to be held in March 2020.

Highlights: Missiles

The upgraded version of the S-400 missiles that were previously available only to Russian forces are to be delivered to India by 2025.

China, Russia and India

China was the third country in the world to hold S-400 missiles after Russia and Belarus. India was the fourth country to possess S 400 missiles only after China. Also, it has been announced that China will be the first country to get S500 missile system from Russia.

S500

The S500 missile is still under development and testing phase in Russia. S500 is very much similar to the US THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) system. S500 is a surface to air missile system with a range of 600 km.

China-India-Russia meet

Russia also announced that the foreign ministers of China, India and Russia is to be held in March 2020. This is the 17th time the ministers of the countries are meeting. Russia is also keen that Kashmir issue will not be brought up at the meet.

Kashmir issue and UNSC

China has lately been raising the Kashmir issue and abrogation of Article 370 in global organizations. Recently, China tried to bring up the Kashmir issue at the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) through a closed-door meet. However, 15-member body voted against China and the issue couldn’t be brought for discussion. China had earlier tried to conduct similar closed-door discussions in August 2019 and couldn’t succeed.

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Bangladesh: Regularly submerging Island to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees

The Bangladesh Government has planned to accommodate 100,000 Rohingya refugees in its Bhasan Char Island.

Highlights

The island, Bhasan Char that is regularly submerged in water during monsoon has been fortified with embankments and flood protection to relocate Rohingyas here. However, the date of relocation has not been announced. Hospitals, mosques and houses have been built. There are more than 700,000 Rohingyas that fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar as the latter began ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas in their country.

Bhasan Char

The Island is also known as Hatiya Upazila. It is located at 37 miles from the coast. The Island has been fortified with Himalayan silt in 2006. It is under water between June and September due to monsoon rains. This is because Bangladesh is a low-lying Delta country formed by the two unification of two mighty Himalayan rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra.

Criticizations

The United Nations Refugee Agency termed the move of the Bangladeshi government as logistically challenging. Several other organizations like the Human Rights Watch criticized the move as humanitarian disaster.

India

India has been deporting Rohingyas to Myanmar. In 2017, the Union Ministry announced that there are around 40,000 Rohingyas living in India. Around 16,000 of them have been registered under United Nations as Refugees. They are spread across Delhi, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Tamil Nadu.

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