Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Saturday, 16 May 2015

From Today's Papers - 16 May 2015

India, China vow to settle border dispute
Agree to increase number of border meeting points | Form task force to address trade gap
Beijing, May 15
Vowing to address the boundary issue at the earliest, India and China today decided to seek a "political" solution to the vexed dispute amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi's assertion that its resolution should transform ties without causing "new disruptions".

Modi, who held talks with his counterpart Li Keqiang, pushed for clarifying the Line of Actual Control (LAC) without "prejudice to our position on the boundary question", saying "a shadow of uncertainty always hangs over the sensitive areas of the border region" as "neither side knows where the LAC is in these areas".

The Indian leader, who announced e-visa facility for the Chinese tourists, asked Beijing to "reconsider its approach on some issues that hold us back", an apparent reference to matters like issuance of stapled visas to residents of Arunachal Pradesh over which China lays territorial claim.

The two sides decided to increase the number of border meeting points of their military personnel from the existing four as they underlined that maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border was an "important guarantor" for the development and continued growth of ties.

Modi and Li discussed a wide range of issues, including boundary dispute, trade imbalance, terrorism, investment, climate change and UN reforms, during their 90-minute talks.

Noting that India and China have had "complex" ties over the last few decades, Modi said the two nations have a "historic responsibility" to turn their ties into "a source of strength for each other and a force of good for the world."    

The two sides signed a record 24 agreements covering railways, mining, outer space, earthquake science and engineering, tourism, sister-cities and establishment of consulates in Chengdu and Chennai.

A joint statement issued after the talks said, "The two sides affirmed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the basic interests of the two countries and should be pursued as a strategic objective by the two governments”.

Observing that "dreams" as well as "future" of India and China are "inter-connected", Modi underlined that there was "no question of going back". But "standing still was not an option" and "moving forward is the only way", he added, according to Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

"Our conversations were candid, constructive and friendly. We covered all issues, including those that trouble smooth development of our relations," Modi said at a joint media interaction with Li after their talks.

Li said, "We do not deny that there are some disagreements between us but there is a mechanism and sufficient political maturity to address them."     

The two countries decided to operationalise hotline between their military headquarters even as the two leaders made a "positive assessment of the important progress" made through the mechanism of the Special Representatives. — PTI
India, China face terror threat from same source in region: PM
Beijing, May 15
In a veiled reference to terror networks in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said both India and China faced the threat of growing extremism and terrorism whose source “was in the same region”.

Modi, while addressing students at the Tsinghua University here, asserted that India and China faced instability in their “shared neighbourhood” that could threaten the security and slow down the economies of the two countries.

“The spreading tide of extremism and terrorism is a threat we both face; for both, its source is in the same region,” he said in an apparent reference to the cross-border terrorism faced by India and China originating in Pakistan.

Terror strikes in India like the 26/11 Mumbai attacks have often been traced to Pakistan, while unrest in China’s Xinjiang province is many times linked to separatists trained in camps in Pakistan.

“We must also deal with the changing character of terrorism that has made it less predictable and more diffused. We source a large part of our energy from the same region that faces instability and uncertain future,” Modi said.

Modi, who also held bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, said not only the bilateral cooperation between India and China was important but also their international partnership was crucial to each other’s success.

After talks between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two sides issued a joint statement which also made a reference to terrorism, strongly condemning it in all forms.

“Both sides reiterated their strong condemnation of and resolute opposition to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and committed themselves to cooperate on counter-terrorism,” the statement said. “They agreed that there is no justification for terrorism and urged all countries to work sincerely to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing, and stop cross-border movement of terrorists, in accordance with the relevant principles and purposes of the UN Charter and international laws,” it said. — PTI
Punjab ex-Guv’s former ADC held for graft
The CBI has arrested Major Nirvikar Singh, a former aide-de-camp (ADC) of former Punjab Governor General SF Rodrigues, on bribery charges.

Nirvikar was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 15 lakh in the name of a CBI officer from a businessman on Thursday. The businessman was also arrested for paying the bribe, a CBI spokesperson said. Nirvikar was produced before the Patiala House Court, Delhi, which remanded him in two-day police custody.

It has been alleged that the payment of Rs 15 lakh was part of Rs 30 lakh bribe demanded by Nirvikar in the name of a SP-rank CBI officer in lieu of facilitating undue favour in the trial of a case of fraud pending against the businessman. — TNS
Navy ready with plan to check China’s moves in Arabian Sea
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, May 15
Countering China’s publicly declared move of investing billions of dollars to connect Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea with its own Xinjiang province, the Indian Navy has a long-term plan in place to “secure the sea” that has already factored in Beijing’s latest moves.

“Our response mechanism is always in place,” Vice-Admiral SPS Cheema, Commander-in-Chief of the Mumbai-based Western Naval Command, said in an exclusive talk with the Tribune.

“Its (China’s new plans) are not an issue. At the Western Naval Command, we keep our full area under surveillance. We have ships and aircraft on round-the-clock duty while radars and UAVs pick out all vessel at sea,” he said.

On being asked if the Navy had factored in the possibility of the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships coming to Gwadar for patrolling, the Vice-Admiral said, “Yes, certainly...we do ‘crystal gazing’ and the Defence Minister’s operational directive that is based on national analysis is followed very carefully. Our force projection is based on that.”

On April 17, Beijing had announced a $46 billion economic corridor plan linking Pakistan’s Gwadar port, located in Balochistan and 553 km west of Karachi, with Xinjiang, located north of Jammu and Kashmir.

It will add to China’s capabilities with road and rail access besides oil pipelines. New Delhi has already lodged a protest as the infrastructure will run through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) that is part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

On being asked if China — by investing at Gwadar — was trying to locate itself close to the Strait of Hormuz, which is the narrow exit point of the Persian Gulf, and monitor it, Vice-Admiral Cheema said, “The north Arabian Sea is very critical for the Gulf and also Africa from where energy sources travel. Monitoring is Indian Navy’s job.”

Downplaying the expected Chinese monitoring of the Hormuz, the Vice-Admiral said, “Anybody can monitor...we are not concerned.”

On being asked if some country could interdict India’s oil supplies, he admitted: “Hormuz is a choke point and that is a source of concern for everybody. It is not that one country’s navy is there.”
India Scales Back Army Corps Facing China, Pours Funds Into Carrier
New Delhi:  The government has scaled back an ambitious plan to establish a new army corps to counter Chinese conventional forces across the Himalayas, defence sources said, pouring funds instead into a new aircraft carrier and border roads.

Stung by a 21-day face off on the disputed border two years ago, the previous Congress-led government had announced the establishment of a mountain strike force consisting of 90,000 troops, estimated to cost $10 billion or Rs. 63 thousand crores and equipped with modern weaponry.

But Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has ordered the force be 25-30,000 strong, according to sources, saying the previous government had not thought through the costs involved in raising and equipping such a corps at a time when existing army units are short of everything from field guns to ammunition.

Because the two armies cannot agree where the line of actual control lies, patrols have ended up in territory claimed by the other side, raising tensions.

However, no shot has been fired across the remote frontier, and on Friday, the two countries proposed fresh measures to stabilise the border during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China.

Retired brigadier Arun Sahgal, who led the integrated defence staff's long term strategic assessments division, said the plan now was to raise a smaller rapid reaction force to be deployed on the Chinese border.

"The idea is to create an interventionist force that can operate in the mountains," he said. In the second phase, the army will likely add air assault divisions and special forces. "They are not winding down the corps, they are adjusting it to the right size."

China has built a network of airfields and roads just over the border with India that give its troops mobility which India lacks.

Defence Minister Parrikar told Parliament last month he was pushing for faster construction of roads on the Indian side. He said only 19 of 73 road links identified as strategic on the Chinese border had been completed.

While funds have been tightened for the army, the government this week pressed ahead with plans to build its biggest warship, a 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier that the United States has said it is interested in collaborating in.

India wants US flight launch technology that will allow heavier jets to operate from the proposed new carrier, and in January, during President Barack Obama's visit to India, the two countries agreed to set up a group to explore cooperation in carrier technology.
Now Russia will ‘Make in India’ 200 military helicopters
Moving an inch forward in 'Make in India' initiative in defence production, Gurgaon-based Sun Group may partner with Russia to make light helicopters.

If everything goes as planned, 200 Kamov Ka 226 light helicopters may replace the ageing Cheetah fleet, which services one of the world's highest military deployments on the Siachen glacier.

Economic Times reported that work on the Russian deal, by nomination, had begun after Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit last year in December and assurances were exchanged at the highest levels to look into this project.

The facility may come up in Goa as a feasibility study was conducted to set up a chopper line in the coastal soon after Manohar Parrikar, former Goa CM, took over as defence minister.

If the deal works out, it would be the second major defence project for the state. Parrikar had already announced that the Goa Shipyard was nominated to construct 12 minesweepers for the Indian Navy in a contract that is expected to cost over $1 billion.

The financial daily stated that while Russian Helicopters (RH) is in talks with a handful of possible Indian partners, the lead contender happens to be the Gurgaon-based Sun Group.

As per insiders, the group may get a significant share of the deal, which might cross a whooping amount of $700 million. RH is likely to produce at least 200 choppers in India.

However, the company is also planning to involve Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and partnerships with other private firms are not ruled out.

Vice-Chairman and founder of Sun Group Shiv Vikram Khemka has been a non-executive director on the board of RH since 2011 and has already set up a helicopter division. He is likely to be involved in the 'Make in India' project.

While the Sun Group did not respond to a detailed questionnaire sent by ET, company officials said things were at a preliminary stage and it was too early to comment.

But according to sources, Sun Group was also an offset partner for RH in a previous competition to supply light choppers to the army, a process which was cancelled by the government last year.

Defence ministry officials, on the condition of anonymity, told ET that the RH deal had effectively killed any other light helicopter project for the armed forces, including a process that was initiated earlier this year for an Indian-led JV to manufacture a new range of choppers.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal