The Asian Age
Japan to help India counter China
Japan will help India develop maritime security, particularly in an attempt to provide a foolproof cover for the Andaman region to counter the growing threat of China
In a significant strategic move, Japan will help India develop maritime security, particularly in an attempt to provide a foolproof cover for the Andaman region to counter the growing threat of China in that sector.
Highly- placed government sources said the issue was discussed at length during the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan. During the delegationlevel talks between senior Indian and Japanese officials the growing influence of China in the region was discussed, sources added.
National security advisor Ajit Doval was also part of these deliberations during which Japan expressed its willingness to help India develop capacity in countering any possible threat from China in the Andamans.
Even though Japan is likely to provide the US- 2 amphibian aircraft to India, some of which will also be deployed in the Andamans, it has agreed to provide more sophisti- cated equipment, including arms and ammunitions, to enhance India’s its maritime security.
For the last few years, China has been trying to increase its influence in the Indian Ocean as well as the Bay of Bengal. What has been causing concern to the Indian security establishment is that China has successfully managed to influence Myanmar to develop military infrastructure on Coco Islands that belong to Myanmar. Once fully developed, this would pose a major security threat to Indian interests in the Andaman region.
Even in the past, China has tried to intrude into the Indian waters like in 2011 a Chinese vessel camouflaged as a fishing trawler was spotted by the Indian Navy just off the Andaman Islands. Indian intelligence agencies were of the opinion that the mysterious boat was on a spy mission.
It was also felt that personnel from the intelligence unit of the People’s Liberation Army were on board the boat. Grave uncertainties surrounding China’s maritime intentions in the Indian Ocean have prompted a singularly focused effort on the part of India to beef up forces deployed in defence of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is suspected that the Andaman sea route can be used by the Chinese to help in smuggle in weapons for subversive elements.