Few days back, the Interpreter website first reported about how India is buying the world’s emptiest Airport in Srilanka. It was definitely a surprise for people of India as to why India was buying Airports which are completely empty and receives less than 12 passengers a day?!
But not many people know that these are some of the master plans of this government to counter China’s dominance in the Indian Ocean. Yes, China since 10 years has expanded its base in Sri Lanka and Indian Ocean in a bid to dominte South East Asian regions. Some how, the previous Congress government never thought that China as a potential threat to India and continued to ignore their dominance and suppressed ourselves from countering them.
But after Modi government came to power in 2014, the first thing they did was to revamp the entire diplomatic approach with all countries. The Chinese threat in Arunachal Pradesh and Doklam was very well known for which they cleared all projects in East India and made sure that the army had complete control over the region. India even prevented the expansion of roads by Chinese in the Doklam region after which there was a tense situation between the two countries. The Modi government which acted very strong made sure the Chinese troops were withdrawn from the area which was the biggest strategic win for India.
So, the Modi government is relentlessly trying to stop the Chinese domination around South East Asia and reviving India in every aspect to put back India on top of the world. With the same intention, the Narendra Modi government is now buying the world’s emptiest airport in Srilanka for 40-year lease which is nearly over 2,000-acre space and planning to turn this into profitable business. The strategic plan behind this is that its located just half hour drive from the Hambantota shipping port. This shipping port was bought by Chinese this year for $1.1 billion for 99-year lease period. The Chinese aim was to use this port to construct one belt, one road to connect cross continents with an intention of expanding their military and economic base. The Hambantota came into conscious of the world almost a decade back, and the Chinese immediately realised the importance of the place and offered to build a massive port, airport and an international cricket stadium all connected through Chinese-built multi-lane freeways.[media-credit id=3 align=”alignnone” width=”669″][/media-credit]
The port which is located next to busiest sea lanes across the northern Indian Ocean gives the Chinese best advantage for transhipment and logistics. The Indian intelligence report said that Chinese was going to use this port as their Naval base, as a part of their ambitious project “String of Pearls”, a plan to surround the Indian Ocean completely, there by dominating India in the south.
But the Chinese plans have been severely hampered after the Modi government decided to buy the Airport. The Chinese very well understand that without the access of an Airport there is no way that the port can be turned into an Naval base. The naval base also requires a maritime air surveillance capabilities which has been now blocked by the Indians. Rather, the Indians will have more advantage of having an airport which will facilitate the transportation between India and Sri Lanka. It also gives India a complete control over the area and the ship port will be under the watch full eyes of India.
India is paying a whooping $300 Million to buy the airport and stop the Chinese from turning the port into a Naval base. In the year 2015, the US Defense Department report had confirmed that Chinese Missiles submarines were operating in the Indian Ocean which posed serious threat to Indian states. It is also said that many warships and submarines were docked in the Hambantota port since 2-3 years. The Chinese even bought the biggest and busiest shipping lanes in Sri Lanka to hamper India’s transportation routes in Sri Lanka. Now, the Hyundai cars that are manufactured in India are parked in the
This was a strategic plan by Chinese to use Sri Lankan ports to dominate the Indian Ocean and then expand their military dominance upto South Africa with the help of Pakistan. The main aim was to encircle India using Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia and Sri Lanka in the East and take the help of Pakistan to move towards west.
So it was more of a necessary for India to buy the Airport in order to put a break to Chinese dominance over the area. Narendra Modi has taken a very strong decision and is planning a massive project to build new sea route with the help of Japan and US which is completely under the control of India. Years of neglect and ignorance of the Congress government has made India weak in the Indian Ocean which may turn out to be a weak point in future if left unattended.
Credit: The Interpreter