Friday, February 3, 2012

India, China Agree To Eliminate Piracy

Keeping persistent threats from pirates operating off the coast of Somalia in view, two Asian giants – India and China – have agreed to cooperate with each other, roping in Japan to tackle piracy.
This is the first working relationship on the high seas between the Indian Navy and China’s People Liberation Army (Navy). The two armies have so far worked under an agreement to patrol land borders and also follow a protocol when faced with each other on the disputed Line of Actual Control. The Naval arrangement started a month ago and has provided more safety and better utilization of resources. It is a working-level meeting (on the high seas) to ensure effective communication and operations.
Independent Anti-Piracy Patrols
Warships from India, China and Japan have been deployed independently. Their role is conducting independent anti-piracy patrols in the internationally recognized transit corridor — a 480 nautical mile (approximately 890 km) long area in the Gulf of Aden. The 92-km wide corridor starts at the confluence of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and extends eastwards toward the Arabian Sea.
The three have so far not been part of the Combined Task Force-151, essentially a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led force for anti-piracy, and nor are they part of the Eunavfor, another grouping of European countries along similar lines. Merchant ship operators have been keen that nations like India, China and Japan that are not part of the big groupings and operate independently, should cooperate among themselves as their standalone warships would then be of greater help in tackling piracy.
Transit Corridor
India has a warship on duty in the transit corridor since October 2008. China has two warships and a fleet tanker that replenishes supplies while the Japanese also have two warships along with a maritime reconnaissance plane based in Djibouti, close to Somalia.
To facilitate sharing of information, a counter-piracy platform exists and that is named Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE). It meets on a quarterly basis at Bahrain and has a convoy coordination group that provides merchant ships with naval warship protection. All navies that send warships to escort merchant vessels are extended members of SHADE. Its primary aim is to ensure effective coordination and de-confliction of military resources and operations in combating piracy.

1 comment:

Manfrix89 said...

This particular piece of news is another proof of the growing importance of China and India as major players at the global level. Their taking action in matters that are geographically speaking far from their sphere of influence is a strong signal. Also, China has significant interests in many african countries for access to cheap raw materials and fossil fuels, to support its stunning growth, but also an important market. Of course a safe route from China to Africa would sensibly lower the risks of trade with these countries. This is the kind of action a superpower would pull off and now China and India have the power to influence global events to their own advantage.