Tuesday, July 15, 2008

China strengthens its naval presence in Coco Islands for Indian Ocean surveillance

Chinese naval delegation led by Col. Chi Ziong Feng, accompanied by their Myanmarese counterparts headed by Brig. Gen. Win Shein, visited the Coco Islands in the Indian Ocean on June 25, 2008. Brig. Gen. Shein is the Commander of Ayeyarwaddy naval headquarters which control the Island. China has built naval facilities there to monitor shipping movements in the Indian ocean. Beijing is concerned about the security of sea lanes of communications as a major part of its oil and gas supplies transit through the Indian Ocean.
The two delegations decided to (a) increase the strength of Naval troops on the Coco islands (b) construct two more helipads and storage facilities for arms and ammunition and (c) upgrade the communication equipment on the island.
Construction of more helipads indicates Chinese intentions of increasing airborne surveillance of the sea lanes.

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