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Singapore Allows India To Dock Warships At Its Naval Base

Chanakya IAS Academy
15/12/2017 0 0

Subject- International Relations
Paper- Gs-2

Singapore Allows India To Dock Warships At Its Naval Base

The News:

  • India has signed a navy-to-navy agreement with Singapore to have greater cooperation and activity in the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea.
  • The two countries agreed on bilateral agreement for naval cooperation including- maritime security, joint exercises and temporary deployments from the naval facilities of each other and mutual logistical support.

What’s In The Agreement:

  • India has agreed to have its naval warships refueled and restocked at Singapore, located at the gateway to the contested water of South China Sea.
  • 35% of India’s trade passes through this route only.
  • The Indian Navy will have a full-fledged logistics facility that is 2,177 km east from its nearest base at the Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Port Blair in the Andaman.
  • This will be the first such military logistics agreement with a country east of Malacca.

Why The Agreement Is Crucial:

  • Important Lane Of Communication: Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea both are crucial lanes of communication. Last year, approximately China has imported it's 80% of oil and 11% of natural gas transited the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea.The figure is projected to grow in future.

  • Choke Point For Global Commerce: It is the world’s second busiest-waterway.It is the shortest sea route between African and Persian Gulf suppliers and Asian markets. Many of the world’s largest economies use the channel for trade with the energy-rich Middle East and resource-rich Africa. Nearly, 100,000 vessels pass through it each year, accounting for about one-quarter of the world’s traded goods.

  • To Counter China: This move will aim at countering Chinese naval presence in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean region.

  • Increasing India’s Engagement: India always showed its prime interest in the sea between the Gulf of Hormuz (Persian Gulf) and the Strait of Malacca. The waters east of Malacca have always been the secondary interest. But with this move, India’s engagement will increase with the 10-member ASEAN bloc.

Way Ahead:

  • Now onwards, the Indian Navy will be able to contact the Singaporean authorities directly whenever needed to use Singapore’s naval facilities.
  • Earlier, the Navy had to process its request through Defence Ministry to External Affairs Ministry to the Singapore government that was a long and time-consuming.
  • Both countries have agreed to conduct exercises and patrolling in their waters and to support each other to establish maritime security and to maintain freedom of navigation.
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