Tamil Information Centre
User Name:   
Password:   
  Remember Me  
Sign up  |  Forget password
Home   
Search
    Contact us
China-Bangladesh Cooperation under BRI to Mitigate Seaborne Security Threats in the Bay of Bengal
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Monday)

By Noor Mohammad Sarker

The ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative (BRI), commenced by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, has been the most significant and far-reaching project that China has ever put forward. Bangladesh is an important strategic partner with China in this two-dimensional mega-project, comprising of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Twenty-first Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR). The maritime area of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal falls under the sea route of MSR, whereas both China and Bangladesh share common interest of ensuring the free flow of international trade.

However, Bangladesh’s maritime area in the Bay of Bengal has been in the verge of a number of sea-borne security threats, including maritime terrorism, piracy, drug smuggling, human trafficking, and environmental disasters. As for example, in recent times, the use of maritime domain by the transnational terrorist groups has received a wider attention of the policymakers and security experts in the coastal countries. For the last two decades, a series of terrorist attacks on or by the sea, including the attack on French Oil Tanker in October 2012 and terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, clearly indicate the security exposure of the coastal countries against transnational terrorism. Particularly, the Mumbai attacks had a grave security implication for Bangladesh. The nature of the attack, in which terrorists used small fishing boat to cross the maritime route and landed by sea to launch the attack on the city, introduced a new dimension of sea-borne security threat.

The Bay of Bengal is also one of the hotspots of maritime piracy in the world. The coastal livelihood of Bangladesh is highly dependent on fishing, which merely includes trawlers and other small fishing boats. Fishing in the coastal area contributes about 2.73 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), e.g. about 4.9 percent of total export earning and about 12 percent of total employment, of the country. Though, the matter of concern is that, Bangladeshi fishermen often become easy targets of the local or regional pirates operating in the bay. An estimation of the Cox’s Bazar District Fishing Trawler Owners Association (DFTOA) of Bangladesh projects that, in between 2010 to 2015, at least 411 Bangladeshi fishermen have been killed and more than 1,000 of them have been wounded by the pirates in the Bay of Bengal.

Apart from these, Bangladesh’s maritime area is located in between the two largest illicit opium producing areas of the world, i.e. “Golden Triangle” (Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos) and “Golden Crescent” (Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran). Almost half of the world’s illicit drugs, produced in these areas, are trafficked through the Bay of Bengal and its littoral countries to different parts of the world. In addition, transnational criminal networks use the bay as a maritime route of human trafficking, mostly Bangladeshi citizens and Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, to Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. According to a report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), around 31,000 people, together with Bangladeshis and Rohingyas, have been trafficked through the Bay of Bengal in the first half of 2015. Regional militant and terrorist organizations in South Asia and Southeast Asia are believed to be benefitting from this channel of human trafficking.

Besides, climate-induced security threats in the coastal areas have been the major concerns for Bangladesh with the largest part of her surface lying less than 10 meter above sea level. Geosciences Australia reported in 2007 that, Bay of Bengal is the most dangerous area for large tsunamis and Bangladesh falls in the second position after Indonesia about the highest number of population threatened by tsunamis. In 2009, another study of Climate Change Cell, working under the Department of Environment, Bangladesh, predicted that, a 45 cm rise of sea level would inundate 10-15% of the country’s land by the year 2050, generating over 35 million climate refugees from the coastal districts.

Given this context, a bilateral cooperation between Bangladesh and China to mitigate these common sea-borne security threats in the Bay of Bengal could serve the interest of both the countries. China has been actively fighting these types of non-traditional security threats in the Indian Ocean for the last two decades. Since the beginning of 2000s, China’s maritime strategy has incorporated the idea of “far seas protection,” which includes the construction of its independent blue water naval strength in the greater Indian Ocean. This strategy was initially formulated to secure the Chinese interests abroad, including “security of overseas energy and resources, strategic sea lanes, overseas Chinese investment, and overseas Chinese citizens and legal entities.” Following these, China’s naval vessels have been navigating in the Indian Ocean since December 2008 and conducting regular anti-piracy operations and exercises. Chinese nuclear submarines have also joined these activities from 2013.

BRI has in fact put more emphasis of China’s fight against sea-borne security threats in the Indian Ocean. For being a part of the Maritime Silk Road, the security of the Bay of Bengal also remains one of the primary focuses of China’s naval policy. For example, in February 2017, two Chinese destroyers, Haikou and Changsha, conducted anti-piracy drills in the eastern quadrant of the Indian Ocean. In April of the same year, a successful joint operation was conducted by Chinese and Indian naval forces in order to rescue a merchant ship hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

China, with its modern technological support, is also collaborating with Southeast Asian countries for the past several years in this regard. These engagements have been providing China with pragmatic experience as well as expertise on the nature of security threats in the Bay of Bengal and their possible prevention strategies. These policies aside, cooperation with other coastal countries in disaster management has long been a part of China’s naval diplomacy. As a Bay of Bengal littoral state, therefore, Bangladesh has the opportunity to engage in similar kind of cooperative framework with China under BRI.

Source: Modern Diplomacy

Share on Facebook


 Latest 25 News/ பிந்திய 25 செய்திகள்:
Will present new UNHRC resolution: SLPP • G.L. says if party is elected will push back on 2015 resolution
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
Private education may wipe out State education
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Tuesday)
TNA & Geneva
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Tuesday)
Palali picked over Mattala: SLPP
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Tuesday)
Top cop faces arrest over Sri Lanka double murder
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Tuesday)
Ranjan reveals names to Karu
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Monday)
UN expert frowns on fuel price formula
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Monday)
LNG power project: German Envoy concerned about contract to China
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Thursday)
ICJ deeply concerned by President Sirisena’s resolve to resume executions in Sri Lanka
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Thursday)
Reunion Island deports illegal SL immigrants
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Thursday)
Long Read: Why has Sri Lanka’s Transitional Justice process failed to deliver?
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Thursday)
Grandmother whose entire family is settled in UK told to leave country Exclusive: Sixty-three-year-old ordered to return to Sri Lanka and leave behind her partner, children and grandchildren because her recently retired husband ‘doesn’t earn enough’
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
CaFFE flays prez but its former boss among beneficiaries Six PCs under Governors:
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
PM moots Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
Two individuals behind incidents involving Lasantha, Keith & Prageeth: Gota
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
PTA to be repealed: Counter Terrorism Bill soon MOVES TO MAKE THE LAW MORE HUMANE
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
Estate workers to get Rs. 50 more from Govt. for one year: Navin
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
ADB gives Sri Lanka US$145mn to help breed tech-oriented graduates
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
Dearth of teachers in rural schools
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Wednesday)
How can there be freedom without discipline ? - Gotabaya
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Tuesday)
Lankan delegation holds talks in TN on refugee issue
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Tuesday)
UK demands full implementation of Geneva Resolutions on Lanka Says US pullout from Geneva body irrelevant
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Saturday)
Inheritance of a longstanding friendship Work together for a bright future of China-Sri Lanka relations:
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Friday)
What Sri Lanka Failed To Achieve In Last 71 Years?
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Thursday)
Tamil Lawyers Forum Urges UNHRC to Refer Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court. Extention of Time will Deny Justice
Published Date: 04/02/2019 (Thursday)
Donate
Support our work to bring rights to life in any way big or small
 Amount:

Donate using PayPal

Select dates to view
past and future events
<<<Feb - 2019>>>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
     1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1011
12
131415
16
17181920212223
24
25262728  
 Stand up for Rights and Justice
Grant 18 year old Saudi Woman Rahaf asylum in the UK
Read more...
Take Action
Call to Ban Monsanto’s pesticide
Trump’s child hostages
Set Noura Free -- sign now!
Latest Publication
Proto Sumero Dravidian: The Common Origin of Sumerian and Dravidian Languages Conference Report:

Proto Sumero Dravidian: The Common Origin of Sumerian and Dravidian Languages

Read more...

Thiruvalluvar
About us
Site Help
Getting in touch
Other
Facebook Youtube twitter
Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions
Copyright © 2019 ticonline.org, All rights reserved.