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Chinese managed Hambantota Port of Sri Lanka: Emerging new threat for India

Dr G Shreekumar Menon

Hambantota Port

The recent acquisition of the Hambantota port by China, opens up a new flank to pressurise India. Southern India faces the prospects of a Chinese attack, in any future Indo-China conflict. If Himalayas, representing the head of India, where the Chinese have been continually doing hair-cutting, Hambantota will be the place from where they will henceforth perform regular foot-massage.  Nothing could be more discomforting, if we consider the military and strategic assets located in Southern part of India. 

The strategically located Hambantota International Port has been handed over to China Merchants Port Holdings (CM Port) on a 99-year lease by the Sri Lankan government with a payment of US$1.12 billion as the island nation couldn’t pay back the funding capital debt to China.

China’s String of Pearls

Hambantota is close to the Asian and European international shipping routes, Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca. These sea routes through Hambantota are used by about 36,000 ships, including 4,500 oil tankers. The port saves about three days of sailing time and fuel.


The strategic value of this port for the Chinese is immense. Hitherto the Indo-China conflicts have been focussed on the Indo-Tibetan-China border, which is about 3440 Kms long, having mountainous terrain, rivers, lakes and snow-caps which keep shifting periodically adding to the opacity of the international border. Bhutan and Nepal also face border issues with China but are in no position to challenge the Chinese effrontery. The recent acquisition of the Hambantota port by China, opens up a new flank to pressurise India. Southern India faces the prospects of a Chinese attack, in any future Indo-China conflict. If Himalayas, representing the head of India, where the Chinese have been continually doing hair-cutting, Hambantota will be the place from where they will henceforth perform regular foot-massage.  Nothing could be more discomforting, if we consider the military and strategic assets located in Southern part of India. 

The scope of this article is being focussed only on Tamilnadu and Kerala, as these are going to be the new frontline States to confront the next wave of Chinese interference. Hambantota port is just 290 miles or about 450 kilometres, from India’s southern tip – Kanyakumari.

 Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) which is the largest nuclear power station in India, is situated in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the state of Tamil Nadu. The distance from Hambantota would be within just 500 kilometres.

INS Kattabomman the premier communication establishment, of the Indian Navy is located at South Vijayanarayanam, near Tirunelveli. The 3000-acre base enclosed in a 22 km perimeter wall hosts the VLF transmitting grid, which is the only one of its kind in the country. The distance from Hambantota would be again within the 500 kilometres range.

In addition to the above Tamilnadu hosts other Naval establishments at Chennai, Uchipuli, and Arakkonam.

Thanjavur Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force is located in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, and is home to No. 222 squadron of the IAF’s Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft. In addition, there is the Tambaram Air Force Station at Chennai.

Sulur Air Force Station located at Sulur near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, is India’s second largest air base after Hindon AFS. It is the air-base which is responsible for protection of India’s sea area. The second squadron of the indigenous Tejas Mk-1 fighter aircraft has been operationalised at Sulur.

The Wellington Cantonment at Nilgiris is home to The Madras Regimental Centre and The Defence Services Staff College.  

There are four Ordnance factories in Tamilnadu, including the famous Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF), at Avadi, Chennai.

The prestigious Officers Training Academy (OTA) of the Indian Army that train officers for the Short Service Commission is located at Chennai.

India’s first Defence Corridor is fast taking shape in the   cities – Salem, Hosur and Trichy, all part of the planned defence corridor linking Chennai and Bengaluru – companies currently engaged in making textiles, automobile parts and engineering goods are diversifying into defence manufacturing.

Madras Atomic Power Station

Madras Atomic Power Station located at Kalpakkam about 80 kilometres south of Chennai, is a comprehensive nuclear power production, fuel reprocessing, and waste treatment facility that includes plutonium fuel fabrication for fast breeder reactors.

Kerala’s capital city Thiruvananthapuram is just 528 kilometres from Hambantota. India’s premier space establishment ISRO and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) are located here as also the Southern Air Command of the Indian Air Force. The IAF’s 17th Forward Base Support Unit (FBSU) oversees the Indian Ocean from the Straits of Malacca to that of Hormuz, one of the world’s busiest sea routes. It also houses a maritime strike squadron- a fleet of Brahmos equipped Sukhoi- 30 MKI.

The 91st Infantry Brigade is based at Thiruvananthapuram. The country’s first amphibious brigade took shape here.

The Brahmos Aerospace, at Thiruvananthapuram manufactures certain critical parts of the Brahmos missiles.

Up north at Kochi is the Southern Naval Command INS Venduruthy. INS Garuda the Naval air station is also based here. Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) is the largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility in India. Currently it is building the 45,000 tonne aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

The Naval Armament Depot (NAD) is based at Alwaye near Kochi.

Kochi is 689 kilometres away from Hambantota.

Further north, Kannur is home to Defence Security Corps, which is responsible for providing security cover to the defence installations of the three services. It is the sixth largest corps of the Army.

Kerala has four functional international airports at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Calicut and Kannur.

Just on the northern border of Kerala, Mangalore and Udupi in Karnataka State is where the underground strategic crude oil storages are located.

The naval base INS Dweeprakshak is located at Kavaratti island in the Lakshadweep archipelago. 

The above two Southern States of India – Tamilnadu and Kerala, will be within short striking range from Hambantota, if China decides to locate offensive weaponry in the port. All defence and strategic assets located in these two States will be under constant Chinese surveillance, and any conflagration up North will henceforth have repercussions deep down South.

That Sri Lanka would sell Hambantota Port to the Chinese would never have occurred to our defence planners and strategists. This move by China to buy up assets of countries that have fallen into its debt trap opens a new dimension in international relations. This scenario is going to get replicated in different parts of the globe. What would America do if the Chinese went on an asset buying spree in impoverished Latin American countries?

How have things gravitated to this extent of China buying up assets of other countries? We have heard of Gulf countries buying up entertainment companies, iconic hotels and supermarket chains in the West, China also is doing this. But, buying up strategic ports and other installations will dramatically change the power equation. Next it will be airports or even defence establishments. Poor countries caught in China’s debt trap have no option. This is the same strategy that East India Company adopted to annexe kingdoms in India.  

The new master strategist is Chinese premier Xi Jinping, and he is not far away from the Vivekananda Rock Memorial, nestling at the feet of Bharat Mata.

How do we counter this new threat? XI Jinping is no ordinary leader, he has a dream in his eyes, a design in his mind, a lethal gameplan up his sleeve and most important, unfettered by any political constraints. Contrast this with India’s democracy fitted with multiple retro rockets – belligerent and non-cooperative Opposition, antiquated justice delivery system, under-performing bureaucracy, a plethora of NGO’s working constantly against the government, negative and biased media, and an assortment of Rights groups whose avowed policy is to belittle the nation. How then to tackle a powerful adversary like Xi Jinping? A military solution is simply ruled out. How do we avert a catastrophe, yet eliminate the Chinese threat?

Xi Jinping and his comrades, constantly rummage through Chinese history for inspiration and motivation to keep their country surging ahead. More than 5000 years of the country’s history is preserved assiduously and taught to instil pride in the Chinese people. A galaxy of heroes is constantly remembered, prominent being General Yue Fei, Mulan a woman warrior, brilliant General Han Xin, Lady Mu Guiying, Sun Tzu, Admiral Zheng He, and Mao Zedong, amongst others. Contrast this with India’s history which glorifies invaders, foreigners, while relegating local heroes. How many Indian war heroes do our school and college texts even mention? But the crisis facing us now is how do we tackle an adversary surcharged with stories of past valour and glory and itching to repeat them? 

Let us also draw inspiration and motivation from our ancestors, who handled crisis situations very deftly and with unparalleled ingenuity.

Wind back all the way to 327 BC, when the unbeaten young conqueror, Alexander the Great, began his conquest of India. At the border of the then Bharat Varsha, his philosophical encounter with a learned, naked Brahmin Saint known as Dandamis (possibly Greek rendering of Dandi-Swami), took place at Takshila. The philosophical discourse that took place between them is recorded by the Greeks as the famous Alexander-Dandamis colloquy. The Saint changed the entire perspective of the Warrior, and he retreated back to Greece. As prophesied by Saint Dandamis, Alexander died enroute to Greece, at the age of 33. How a single naked sage, just by engaging in a philosophical dialogue with a dreaded conqueror, changed the course of History, it can happen only in India. But, unfortunately, our doctored History books for students skip this landmark incident.

The First Opium War (1839-42) witnessed the clash of British-Indian forces against the Qing Dynasty of China represented by Emperor Daoguang. On the British side was the shrewd businessman William Jardine, and Lord Palmerston Foreign Secretary of Great Britain. They identified the Opium Poppy Plant to become the bete noire of China. Subsequently, the Second Opium War (1856-1860) was fought between China versus Britain-France-India combine. The Opium Poppy Plant caused the ruination of China, which to this day refers to the period as ‘Century of Humiliation’. Our doctored History lessons do not mention the role of 1 Company Madras Rifles, 2nd Madras Native Infantry, 6th Madras Native Infantry, 14th Madras Native Infantry and the Bengal Army which fought in the First Opium War, and the Sikh Regiment, Madras Regiment, Bombay Native Infantry, and the Ludhiana Rifles that fought the Second Opium War.  The Opium Poppy plant of India decimated the Chinese Qing dynasty, and gifted them their unforgettable ‘Century of Humiliation’. But, our doctored History text books for students will never mention this. 

The great Chola King, Rajendra Chola had a formidable naval fleet of around one thousand ships, and was in full control of Indian and Sri Lankan coastlines. It was the largest navy in Asia. All ships passing through the Indian Ocean had to pay taxes to the Chola Empire. His empire held full sway over Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and up to Cambodia. His successor Surya Varma II built the Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu Temple in the world. How does India honour this great Naval Chieftain? There is not a single Indian warship named after him, not a single naval base named after him. We have such a great paucity for names that the indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) being built at Cochin Shipyard has to be again named INS Vikrant. Contrast this with China who has built memorials for the great Chinese Admiral Zheng He, who commanded a flotilla of 317 ships and around 28,000 men, and used Calicut port in Kerala as a base. India is yet to understand the importance of inspiring coming generations, and celebrating its heroes.

Mahatma Gandhi, who took on the might of the British Empire with his unique non-cooperation movement, is often not interpreted properly. Gandhi realised that any armed uprising against the mighty British Empire. would never yield the desired results. He was inwardly conscious of the fact that Indians were slaves under a plethora of foreigners for centuries. Arabs, Turks, Persians, Mongols, Afghans, Central Asians, French, Portuguese, Dutch, and the British, had ruled brutally and destroyed all self-confidence and dignity in Indians. Slavery had come to be accepted as something inevitable for a pacifist people. To lead the slaves into an armed uprising would have been totally disastrous. Gandhi knew that if he ever attempted to lead an armed rebellion, he like many of his predecessors and contemporaries, would have to go to the Cellular jail in Andamans to face the gallows. It was a masterstroke of his to realise that what the slaves desired most was cessation from backbreaking toil and wretched labour. He exhorted to the slaves to cease all work, coined unique terms like ‘Hartal’, ‘Satyagraha’, and for the benefit of the Britishers told them that it meant ‘Non-cooperation’.  The Tuticorin Cigar addict Winston Churchill who was confronting the military might of the Germans and Japanese, had no idea what this “half-naked Fakir” was up to. The slaves simply loved the idea of just not working and the Empire where the sun never set, meekly accepted that the game was over. The British were defenceless and powerless before a simple phrase that Mahatma Gandhi borrowed from the Adi Parva of Mahabharata: ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma’.

Xi Jinping

Premier Xi Jinping should be reminded that for his distant ancestors India was TIANZHU, meaning Heaven. How dare President Xi Jinping challenge Heaven? Heaven retaliates in a hundred thousand unknown ways, Mr. Xi Jinping.


Dr G Shreekumar Menon, IRS (Rtd) Ph. D (Narcotics),
www.shreekumarmenon.com
Former Director General National Academy of Customs Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, & Multi-Disciplinary School of Economic Intelligence India; Fellow, James Martin Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies, USA; Fellow, Centre for International Trade & Security, University of Georgia, USA; 
Public Administration, Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, U.S.A. AOTS Scholar, Japan


Edit Note:

China has this Belt and Road initiative which funds at next to nothing interest rate, and if the borrower defaults on payments, China has a right to lease the assets. China has similar arrangements with Fiji and is negotiating with Papua New Guinea as well. Unless other international countries match this, rest of the world is in trouble. China has said it is just doing what English and Europeans did

Crime-free India: Proactive Policing, automated system, people’s participation and future challenges

Newsroom24x7 Network

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Special Director General of Police (Police Reforms) Maithilisharan Gupta is pursuing with full dedication and commitment the goal of translating his vision of “Crime Free Bharat” into ground reality through an Automated Investigation Support System.

To carry forward his message, Gupta is presently engaged in organizing live online interactive sessions with dignitaries from different fields, including the general persons of the society. Through a specially created YouTube channel – Crime Free India – the guests and viewers go live and this has become a popular platform in a very short time. The program is broadcast live every Monday from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Spearheading a brianstorming webinar on the topic “Crime Free Bharat analysis of peer review of proactive Police and visualising future challenges”, under the banner of National Police Mission this past Monday, 27 July (season three of Crime Free India), Gupta set the tone by underscopring there is a provision for scientific and technical assistance in the investigation and detection of criminals under Central List Entry 65C of the 7th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. He emphasised the need for creating a strong and neutral structure to handle the prime responsibility and said a strong foundation of crime-free India can be laid through automated investigation support system using innovative technologies.

Explaining the concept of the Automated Investigation Support System, Gupta said that the goal is to de-burden and de-stress the Police as by using the Automated Investigation Support System. The smart investigation system would help IO to simultaneously work on various probabilities and also assist in requisitioning of evidences from various organisations and other subsystem (though digital requisitioning and monitoring) under section 91 Cr. P. C. It would help in creating a certificate of admissibility u/s 65 B of Evidence Act. System would ensure integrity of evidence with encryption and protection with value thus precluding any chance of manipulation.

It would identify hot spots, crime zones with time and seasonal analysis. It would also identify criminal clusters and map them with hot spots and crime zones. Whenever any crime is committed, the investigation officer would get photographs of criminals from the historic database of CCTNS and suspects who are most likely to be involved on their Investigation App to help him to show it victims and other persons in vicinity to identify the criminals and suspects of the crime.

In addition IO would also have a facility for creating computerised portraits using their Investigation App with help of victims and other witnesses available there. IO would get the automated help for requisitioning evidence under section 91 Cr. P. C. from Telecom Service Providers, CCTV Systems, Banks & Financial Institutions, details about their travel by rail, air or road. These evidence would be admissible in court of law under section 8 and 9 of Evidence Act. System will help to prosecute non-compliance and such evidence would then be obtained through Search and Seizure u/s 93 and 94 Cr.P.C.

System would generate specific investigation leads for IO and would capture the details of their investigation to preserve the evidence, generate certificates of admissibility, integrity and chain of custody. Investigation lead would be accompanied with a compliance and performance module.

It would transform the ground situation and IO would be having all kinds of support including real time help from Experts to do quality jobs through Smart Investigation Assistance.

Gupta further said that the automated system will also ensure a powerful, efficient and public friendly Policing System on ground. The Investigation Support System has been conceived as a very powerful set up to provide support to Investigator but it also captures digital and non digital infallible evidence wherever they may be available (sitting) by helping the investigation officers using their power u/s 91 Cr.P.C. (By digitally creating requisition letters duly signed by IO with an effective monitoring mechanism. It will also help in capturing, analysing and preserving evidence and the same would be made available to IO with proof of relevancy, integrity, admissibility and chain of custody to be submitted before court of law. Non compliance of 91 Cr.P.C. would be dealt strictly as per the provision of law and police would further be facilitated with these evidence through Search and Seizure under section 93 & 94 of Cr.P.C.

It would also provide powerful investigative leads to follow and work on by analyzing macro data of hot spots, crime zones and criminal clusters.

It would also assist in identifying gaps in infrastructure for capturing evidence and the same would be filled by active support and participation by the communities and all other stakeholders. The owners of these resources would get a monetary stream for using their input.

The System provides powerful assistance in smart investigation by the investigation officer and helps him in collection of evidence through a powerful Smart Investigation App. The System will help in preparing a draft challan with full details of evidence and who will prove them in a court of law. Predictive Analytics also would be used to anticipate moves of criminals proactively and prevent them by dynamically and proactively pre-positioning the police and other community volunteers.

The System will lead to integration of Stakeholders identified, including Senior Citizens, Women, Children and other weaker section of society, Youth and students, Media, Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Small businessmen, Restaurant, Tea stalls, Pan Bhandhars/ Pan Stalls and other kiosks, vegetable shops and motivate the citizens to as volunteers, observers or stakeholders and incentivise them by fulfilling their needs, and bringing recognition and monetary rewards.

The population with criminal records or other persons who are having propensity to commit crimes would be identified. Well qualified and properly trained volunteers would interact with them to identify their skill sets and other capabilities. Their interest and inclinations would also be captured to work out sustainable rehabilitation strategies for them, Gupta said and went on to highlight that the system would also create Revenue Streams for the Community as a whole, besides volunteers, and Stakeholders

Taslima Khan, Second in Command, CRPF, Madhya Pradesh, who attended the program, said on the occasion of 82nd Foundation Day of CRPF that coordination of public and police is very important in creating a crime-free India. Gupta responded by stating that the police is overburdened with many responsibilities and if the CRPF prepares itself well then it can do a better job than the police.

Participating in the discussion, Lalit Shastri, Editor-in-Chief, Newsroom24x7, shared his firm view that the police should be a professional force and not a subordinate force.

S. Nitin, educationist, Genesis Solutions, had a piece of advice. He suggested that the basic procedure involved in lodging FIRs should be incorporated in the college curriculum to raise awareness in society.

Hariom Awasthi, Constitution Law Expert and Assistant Professor, Prestige Institute of Management Gwalior said that the level of trust between public and police is very poor and a lot of work is required in this area. Spl DGP, Gupta responded by stating that this technology is integrating not only the authority but also the common citizens of the country and will bring revolutionary changes when it comes to controlling crime.

Dr. Prem Kumar Aggarwal, Head of Department Hooghly Mohsin College, questioned the working of public prosecutors and said that they should uphold the public interest and work under the scope of law.

The Season three episode of Crime Free India that went live on Youtube on 27 July 2020 was conducted by Piyush Dwivedi Advocate on record. He is an LLM in Business Law from National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

Click for discission on the topic: “Crime Free Bharat analysis of peer review of proactive Police and visualising future challenges”

Government of India bans 59 mobile apps

Newsroom24x7 Network

The banned apps are prejudicial to:

  • Sovereignty and integrity of India
  • Defence of India
  • Security of State, and
  • Public order

New Delhi: The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.

Over the last few years, India has emerged as a leading innovator when it comes to technological advancements and a primary market in the digital space.

At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians. It has been noted recently that such concerns also pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country.


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The Ministry of Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps. This Ministry also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps. The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues. Likewise, there have been similar bipartisan concerns, flagged by various public representatives, both outside and inside the Parliament of India. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.

On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs that such Apps pose threat to sovereignty and integrity of India, the Government of India has decided to disallow the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices.

This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.

Banned Apps

TikTok
Shareit
Kwai
UC Browser
Baidu map
Shein
Clash of Kings
DU battery saver
Helo
Likee
YouCam makeup
Mi Community
CM Browers
Virus Cleaner
APUS Browser
ROMWE
Club Factory
Newsdog
Beutry Plus
WeChat
UC News
QQ Mail
Weibo
Xender
QQ Music
QQ Newsfeed
Bigo Live
SelfieCity
Mail Master
Parallel Space
Mi Video Call – Xiaomi
WeSync
ES File Explorer
Viva Video – QU Video Inc
Meitu
Vigo Video
New Video Status
DU Recorder
Vault- Hide
Cache Cleaner DU App studio
DU Cleaner
DU Browser
Hago Play With New Friends
Cam Scanner
Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile
Wonder Camera
Photo Wonder
QQ Player
We Meet
Sweet Selfie
Baidu Translate
Vmate
QQ International
QQ Security Center
QQ Launcher
U Video
V fly Status Video
Mobile Legends
DU Privacy

India-Japan dialogue to enhance security and defence cooperation

First India-Japan 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting

Newsroom24x7 Network

Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Taro Kono, Minister of Defense of Japan, visiting India to attend the inaugural meeting of India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2), called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, 30 November 2019.

New Delhi: Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar, met Foreign Affairs Minister of Japan, MOTEGI Toshimitsu, and Minister of Defense of Japan, Mr. KONO Taro, on Saturday, 30 November 2019 in New Delhi for the first India-Japan 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting.

The Ministers affirmed that this dialogue will further enhance the strategic depth of bilateral security and defence cooperation. Acknowledging emerging security challenges, the Ministers reiterated their commitment to advancing bilateral security cooperation based on the 2008 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation and the 2009 Action Plan to advance Security Cooperation. Recalling that the two sides had a shared vision of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region in which the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity are ensured, and all countries enjoy freedom of navigation and overflight, the Ministers emphasized that further strengthening of bilateral cooperation was in mutual interest of both countries and would also help in furthering the cause of the peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Bilateral Cooperation

The Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh and the Union Minister for External Affairs, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar leading the Indian delegation, while the Minister of Defence of Japan, Taro Kono and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Toshimitsu Motegi leading the Japanese side during the 2+2 dialogue, in New Delhi on November 30, 2019.

The Ministers welcomed the progress made in deepening bilateral defence cooperation last year. The Ministers noted with satisfaction that since last year India and Japan have initiated bilateral exercises between all three components of their defence forces. The Ministers shared the view to make continuous efforts for holding the bilateral exercises between the defence forces regularly and further expanding the same. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the recently conducted second “Dharma Guardian-2019” and the second “SHINYUU Maitri-2019”. The Ministers also concurred to proceed with coordination for the first India-Japan joint fighter aircraft exercise in Japan.

The Ministers welcomed the significant progress made in the negotiations of Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) since the announcement to commence the negotiations in October 2018. The Ministers expressed their desire for early conclusion of the negotiations and were of the view that the agreement will further contribute to enhancing defence cooperation between the two sides.

Acknowledging the importance of ensuring maritime safety in achieving a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific, the Ministers expressed their intention to further promote cooperation in the field of capacity building in maritime security and Maritime Domain Awareness including through cooperation with other countries. In this context, the Ministers welcomed the setting up of Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) by India in December 2018. The Indian side looked forward to Japanese side dispatching a liaison officer at the IFC-IOR in the near future. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the commencement of exchange of information based on the Implementing Arrangement for Deeper Cooperation between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy signed last year.

The Ministers emphasized the need to further strengthen the defence equipment and technology cooperation and looked forward to productive discussions in the fifth Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation (JWG-DETC). In this context, the Ministers welcomed the progress on cooperative research in the area of Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)/ Robotics.

The Ministers appreciated the existing exchange programs between the defence educational and research institutions of the two countries and expressed their desire to continue and expand the exchange programmes.

Multilateral Cooperation

Recalling the Japan-India-US Summit Meetings in November 2018 and June 2019, the Ministers acknowledged the trilateral cooperation with the US. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction at trilateral cooperation represented by the “MALABAR 2019” held from September-October 2019 off the coast of Japan, mine-countermeasures exercise (MINEX) held in Japan in July 2019 and “Cope India 2018” in which Japan participated as an observer in December 2018.

The Ministers welcomed the recent Japan-India-Australia-US Foreign Ministerial consultations in New York in September 2019.

Regional and International Affairs

The Ministers had a frank and fruitful exchange of views on the regional issues of mutual interests particularly on the security situation in the Indo-Pacific.

The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of supporting ASEAN centrality and unity for promoting peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)” during the 34th ASEAN Summit in Thailand in June 2019. The Ministers expressed their commitment to working together with ASEAN for achieving their shared objectives. The Ministers also reiterated their support for ASEAN-led frameworks such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).

The Japanese side appreciated India’s announcement of “Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative” at the recent 14th EAS to create a safe, secure, stable, prosperous and sustainable maritime domain and confirmed their willingness to discuss concrete cooperation based on the Initiative. The Ministers noted with satisfaction that India and Japan’s initiatives for realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific, including also the recent “Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative” and AOIP all strive for an Indo-Pacific region that is inclusive and open to all countries in the region. The Indian side welcomed Japan’s “Vientiane Vision 2.0” in November 2019 as an updated initiative for defence cooperation between Japan and ASEAN.

The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of realizing North Korea’s complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) and expressed their commitment to the full implementation of the relevant UNSCRs. The Ministers condemned North Korea’s recent launches of ballistic missiles which are clear violation of the relevant UNSCRs. The Ministers strongly urged North Korea to resolve the abductions issue at the earliest date.

The Ministers exchanged views on the recent developments in the South China Sea keeping in view also the Chairman’s Statement of the 14th EAS. In this context, the Ministers reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including those reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Ministers also took note of the negotiations of a Code of Conduct (COC) and urged that it should be effective, substantive, and consistent with international law, including the UNCLOS, ensure freedom of navigation and must not prejudice the rights and interests of the stakeholders using the South China Sea and freedoms of all states under international law.

The Ministers condemned in the strongest terms the growing threat of terrorism and acknowledged that it constituted a major threat to peace and security in the region. The Ministers called upon all countries take resolute action in rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and eliminating financing channels and halting cross-border movement of terrorists. The Ministers underlined the need for all countries to ensure that all territory under their control is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries in any manner. They noted in this context the threat posed to regional security by terrorist networks operating out of Pakistan and called upon it to take resolute and irreversible action against them and fully comply with international commitments including to FATF. The Ministers emphasised the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and violent extremism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence.

The Ministers shared recognition on the importance of continuing exchange of opinions in light of the success of this 2+2 Ministerial Meeting, and decided to hold the next 2+2 Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo.