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Source : Business Standard
Big Betrayal : With an eye on the Indian Ocean, China planning radar base in Sri Lanka
China is planning to set up a radar base in Sri Lanka with the objective of keeping an eye on India’s presence in the Indian Ocean region, The Economic Times (ET) has reported. The radar base will focus on monitoring the activities of the Indian Navy, apart from attempting to evaluate India’s strategic assets in South India.
In addition to this, the proposed radar will have the capability to track US military movements at its military base in Diego Garcia. ET has reported that the Aerospace Information Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences could be the agency steering this project in the forests of Dondra Bay, Sri Lanka.
If successfully deployed, the radar set-up will be detrimental to India’s strategic interests in the region and would endanger Indian military installations as they will be in the range of the proposed radar, according to the report, which quoted people familiar with the development.
The radar is expected to have the range to track Indian territory as far as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There is concern that the radar will be able to keep track of the activities at the Kudankulam and Kalpakkam Nuclear Power Plants.
Sri Lanka remains sceptical of China’s designs in the region but feels vulnerable because of the Chinese debt owed to the country. Dondra Bay is located at the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. It forms a significant part of Sri Lanka’s history.
China has obtained the lease of the port of Hambantota for 99 years. A PLA ship visited the port last year, which raised eyebrows in the Indian defence establishment. The region has been closely monitored by the Indian establishment since then, the report said. Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Indian Ocean Indian Ocean India’s growing Military power