Chabahar Port Phase One launched

President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, inaugurated the first phase of the Chabahar port on December 3rd. This advantageous port will provide an alternative route to the land-locked boundaries of Afghanistan and allow it open doors to global markets. It is also an important passage between India and Afghanistan, detouring the hindrances triggered by Pakistan. According to Hindu, the capacity of this new leeway extends from 2.5 million tons to 8 million tons. Through the construction of this port in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran; India, Afghanistan and Iran have reconfirmed their allegiance in ensuring peaceful bilateral trade and economic development. The Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed that the three countries are committed to solving disputes regarding regional connectivity.

Reports from The Times of India recognized the Chabahar port as a challenge to the Gwadar port of Pakistan, located 80 km away. This port developed by China is crucial to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. One of the key benefits of Chabahar port is that it will equip India is guarding Chinese activities in the Arabian Sea.

The first phase of the Chabahar port project – Shahid Beheshti port, will not only enhance India’s entry to Iran, but will also act as a chief pathway to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), the water, railway and road links shared by Europe, India, Iran Russia and whole of Central Asia.

Sources: The Hindu, The Times of India 

Indian Navy strengthens its nuclear arsenal; kicks off nuclear submarine project

In an effort to project power and hone combat capabilities on high seas, India will be starting major military exercises. India is also planning to induct six nuclear-powered attack submarines, four nuclear-powered submarines with ballistic missiles and 18 diesel-electric submarines. This is seen as an attempt to counter China’s naval and military activity across the Indo -Pacific region. 

At present, the Navy’s arsenal includes 3 old conventional submarines, one indigenous SSBN in INS Arihant, which was commissioned last year, and an SSN in INS Chakra leased from Russia, which does not have nuclear-tipped missiles. The project was announced by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba. He stated that the Indian Navy was ready to assume a bigger role in the Indo-Pacific region, under the recent quadrilateral coalition between India, US, Australia, and Japan. The quadrilateral aims to establish ” a free open and prosperous and inclusive Indo Pacific region “. 

The acquisition of a range of submarines, weapon systems and warships has enabled the Navy to tackle a number of traditional and non-traditional security threats, Lamba added.

Sources: The Times of India, Times Now

U.S. – South Korea begin bombing drills, Russia – China commence naval activities

The U.S. military organized bombing drills with South Korea over the Korean peninsula and Russia and China started naval activities in front of a U.N. General Assembly meeting on Tuesday where North Korea’s atomic risk is probably going to pose as a potential threat.

The whirlwind of military drills came after Pyongyang fired mid-range ballistic rocket over Japan on Friday and the disruptive North led its 6th and most intense atomic test on Sept. 3 in resistance of United Nations sanctions and other international weight.

A couple of U.S. B-1B aircraft and four F-35 planes flew from Guam and Japan and joined four South Korean F-15K warriors in the most recent venture, South Korea’s guard service said.

The drills are the second part of China-Russian maritime activities this year, the initial segment of which was organized in the Baltic in July.

China and Russia have more than once called for arrangement and converses to resolve the issue.

On Sunday, U.S. Diplomat to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the U.N. Security Council had come up short on alternatives on containing North Korea’s atomic program and the United States may need to turn the issue over to the Pentagon.

Sources: SBS, Newsweek

Exiled Tibetans protest outside UN HQ in Geneva

Exiled Tibetans protested in front of the iconic “Broken Chair” in Geneva ahead of the 36th United Nations Human Rights Council Session against the atrocities being committed by the Chinese Government and demanded independence for Tibet.

Holding placards ‘Who is responsible for self-immolation -The Chinese government’ and raising slogans “we want justice”, exiled Tibetans protesters called for a “Free Tibet”.

ANI quoted Dawa Norbu, representative of Tibetan community of Switzerland, saying, “We are here to protest ahead of the 36th United Nations Human Rights Council Session meeting as we want to make them (UN members) aware of the prevailing human rights situation in Tibet. We want our voices to be heard and the reason is why UN is not acting against the Chinese government. We want to make them aware that what wrong Chinese Government has done in past few years.”, “Chinese have demolished Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institute, one of the largest centres of Buddhist learning in Tibet. Now, they are trying to control the entire Buddhist institutes in Tibet,” he added.

Voicing concern over the increasing Chinese oriented development activities, others present at the protest voiced that they were concerned about indigenous Tibetans who live in the absence of freedom of speech, freedom to practice their religion, about arbitrary arrests that are made and the Human rights violation of those arrested who have no access to the lawyers, languishing in jails and deprived of justice.

Tibetans raised issues ranging from the gross violations of human rights in Tibet, the resurgence of immolation protests in Tibet to the 1949 China’s illegal occupation of Tibet.

Sources:ANI, Reuters

 

 

 

 

Sindhu reached Korea Open Superseries final vs Nozomi Okuhara

Adding another win to her name, badminton star PV Sindhu booked a place for herself in the finals of the Korea Open Superseries in Seoul by defeating He Bingjiao of China in the semi-finals today.

Starting strong, Sindhu kept Bingjiao on her backfoot winning the match by 21-10, 17-21, 21-16. Taking an 11-4 lead, Sindhu wrapped up the first game 21-10 in just 16 minutes.

However, the Chinese counterpart stepped up her game and made a comeback in the second winning the game after Sindhu had already established an 11-6 lead. Bingjiao won the game by 17-21.

The third game saw Bingjiao attacking right from the start and a seemingly tired Sindhu giving up points to the former’s drop shots. However, Sindhu’s powerful shots helped her take an 11-9 lead changing the game.

After establishing a 14-14 set, Sindhu took charge again with a 18-14 lead. Bingjiao struggled to comeback, but Sindhu’s power smashes proved to be too much to handle.

Eventually, Bingjiao netted a shot giving the world number 4 player the final win.

With this, Sindhu now moves forward to facing the final against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan on Sunday.

Sources – HT, Indian Express

Image Source – Getty Images

China-Pakistan agree to enhance anti-terrorism co-operation on CPEC:

China and Pakistan have come together and agreed upon strengthening their co-operation on anti-terrorism and security along the 50 billion USD economic corridor that connects the volatile regions of both countries through a rail and road network.

The CPEC or the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, connects Xinjiang province in north-western China with Gwadar port in south western Pakistan. The corridor faces threats from Islamic militants from regions of both countries.  The CPEC, which is under Chinese President’s Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, goes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and hence India objects to this part of the project.

An agreement on security co-operation was reached when Meng Jianzhu, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party Central Committee, met with Pakistani foreign minister Khawaja Asif and Pakistani National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua in Beijing on September 8, 2017.

According to Indian Express, reports have stated that Pakistan has deployed more than 15,000 military to protect Chinese workers who are working on projects related to CPEC. The total force includes 9,000 Pakistan Army soldiers and 6,000 para-military forces.

Meng praised Pakistan’s efforts and called for increased anti-terrorism and security cooperation to build the CPEC project. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign minister, Khawaja Asif stated maintaining friendly relations with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

Sourced from The Wire and Indian Express

BRICS brings relief to Indo-Sino crisis

Asian geopolitics has been at the forefront in recent times with China and India being the major players in the space of negotiations. The two countries were a highlight of the recently held 9th BRICS Summit at Chinese coastal city of Xiamen between September 3 and 5.

The talks at Xiamen looked difficult due to the hostility that Beijing and New Delhi had shown in the backdrop of the Doklam standoff. However, August 26 marked a landmark date for the Asian giants as it put an official end to the two and a half months long standoff in Bhutan between the two countries. 70 days of the Indo-China crisis ended a week before the BRICS summit when the Asian powers decided to join hands in diplomatic talks to end the crisis. Negotiations yielded results when India withdrew its troops from the Doklam region of Bhutan and China and ceased its road building activities in the border.

Given the importance of the BRICS’ card for China, it was not surprising that Beijing pulled back its activities ahead of the summit. China has always been an active member of BRICS. Shanghai’s primary role in the New Development Bank could be one of the major reasons for explaining the steps taken by Beijing for participating in international dialogue. Additionally, overt international support for India from the USA, UK and Japan meant a common message for Beijing.

As far as the Indian narrative is concerned, she withdrew her forces after the Chinese side stopped the construction at the valley in Bhutan. However, if the activities resume, India has option to do the same. New Delhi took the decision after Beijing initiated negotiations to settle the dispute.  International support for India also paved the way for talks and negotiations and a stronghold in the global arena.

In the backdrop of the political crisis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping have agreed to bring in the spirit of the “Astana consensus” to which they had agreed upon earlier in June this year at the Kazakhstan capital. Upholding similar spirits at Xiamen, both countries have agreed to work towards consensus building in agreeing to prevent differences from turning into disputes.

 

Sources: Indian Express, Livemint