China-Pakistan Current Affairs

China launches two remote sensing satellites for Pakistan

China successfully launched two remote sensing satellites PRSS-1 and PakTes-1A of Pakistan on board of Long March-2C rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It was overall 279th mission for the Long March rocket series (mainly used to send satellites into low Earth or Sun-synchronous orbits) and first international commercial launch in nearly two decades after it carried Motorola’s Iridium satellites into orbit in 1999.

Key Facts

PRSS-1: It is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan. It can carry out day and night monitoring. It also has viewing capacity even in clouded conditions. It will be used for land and resources surveying, agriculture research, urban construction, monitoring of natural disasters and to provide remote sensing information for (CPEC) under China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan and overall 17th satellite developed by China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) for an overseas buyer.

PakTES-1A: It is Pakistan’s indigenously developed scientific experiment satellite developed by engineers from its space agency SUPARCO (Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission).

Comment

The launch of the two satellites marks yet another space cooperation between China and its all-weather ally Pakistan. The satellites will provide space remote sensing information services for strategic US$ 50 billon China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through. Pakistan already had five satellites in space but lacks heavy duty launchers and satellite fabrication facilities and is dependent on China. India is way ahead of Pakistan in space technology, with 43 operational satellites in space. India also has its indigenous radar imaging satellites with all-weather surveillance capability.

Month: Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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China hands over two ships to Pakistan Navy for Gwadar Port security

China has handed over two ships to the Pakistan to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes under the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

These ships have been named as Hingol and Basol, after two rivers near Gwadar. They will be part of Pakistan Navy and are equipped with state-of-the-art guns. They will be used to protect the sea-lanes in the Arabian Sea.

Besides, China will also provide two more ships to Pakistan Navy which have been named Zhob and Dasht after two districts in Balochistan.

Background

In recent times, China has actively started extending its help and cooperation to Pakistan for security along the $46 billion CPEC’s land and sea routes. As a follow up, Pakistan Army already has raised a new division of the army to ensure security along the CPEC route and around the strategic Gwadar port. The security of Gwadar city also has been handed over to the Pakistan Army’s new division raised during the tenure of former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif. In the past, China restrained itself from deploying its naval ships in Gwadar, as it could had raise alarm in US and India.

Gwadar port

The strategic Gwadar port is located in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province. It has been developed under CPEC which link western China through Pakistan with the Middle East, Africa and Europe.  The revamped port became operational in November 2016 after two cargo ships laden with containers set off for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the UAE and European Union.

For more information: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Month: Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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