Gwadar port Current Affairs - 2020

India begins Trans Shipments to North East through Chittagong port of Bangladesh

On July 21, 2020, India began its trial trans-shipment of goods from India to the North East through the Chittagong port of Bangladesh.

Background

India and Bangladesh signed an agreement to transit goods to north east via ports of Bangladesh. Indian transshipment goods will enjoy a stay of 28-day free-stay at the ports of Bangladesh according to international transshipment agreement.

Agreement

In 2019, India and Bangladesh had signed agreements during the visit of Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to India. Both sides concluded Standard Operating Procedure to use Mongla and Chittagong ports for movement of goods to the North East India.

Significance: String of Pearls

Chittagong port is one of the ports located on the String of Pearls geopolitical theory of the Chinese. The String of Pearls is located in the Indian Ocean. It refers to a network of Chinese military facilities from Chinese mainland to Port Sudan in Horn of Africa.

The sea lines of String of Pearls runs through several maritime choke points such as Strait of Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Malacca, Lombok Strait.

The String of Pearls include Chittagong Port of Bangladesh, Sittwe in Myanmar, Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Gwadar in Pakistan.

Four P-8I aircrafts to arrive India in 2021

The Defence Acquisition Council cleared the purchase of six P-8I aircrafts in 2019. Of this, four are to arrive in 2021. There are talks to acquire six more.

Highlights

The P-8I aircrafts are mainly used for maritime surveillance purposes. India’s long-range reconnaissance, anti-submarine, electronic jamming and surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean Region will get a boost with the arrival of P-8I.

About P-8I

The P-8I is integrated with Harpon Block II air launched missiles and lightweight torpedoes. It is capable of carrying 129 sonobuoys that locate submarines and can also launch anti-ship missiles killing the submarine.

Background

The United States have already acquired a string of ports in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran and east Africa to contain Indian Nay and also challenge the presence of US Central command forces, British and French Navy.

China’s String of Ports

China has 70% stake at Kyaukpyu port in Myanmar, Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, Gwadar port in Pakistan and Jask port in Iran.

India’s plans

India is being cautious that China can replicate its aggressive posture along Line of Actual Control in Indian Ocean Region as well. India is also formalizing QUAD grouping. US, Japan, Australia are the other three members of QUAD grouping.

COMCASA

The purchase of P-8I has been possible because of Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement India signed with the US. The pact provided a legal framework to exchange encrypted communication.