China-Indian Ocean Region Forum

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    In News

    • Australia and Maldives did not participate in the recently held Indian Ocean Region Forum convened by China.

    About Forum

    • Organiser: China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) which is Beijing’s new development aid agency
    • Participants: 
      • “high-level representatives” from 19 countries, including Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Afghanistan, Iran, Oman, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Djibouti, and Australia. 
      • No representative from India was invited.
    • Recent Proposals at Forum:
      • China has proposed to establish a marine disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation mechanism between China and countries in the IOR.
    • Prominence of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) in the Chinese policy framework:
      • China’s prominent role in global supply chains,
      • The vast resource base of the Indian Ocean, and 
      • The passage of strategic sea lines of communication through the IOR.
    • Concerns:
      • China’s initiation of a new forum for IOR countries despite the other successfully established forums is worrisome.
      • China has been relentlessly trying to ramp up political, economic and security inroads in the region despite being geographically far from IOR.
      • Apparently aimed at countering India’s strong influence in the region.
      • China has often been accused of engaging in “debt diplomacy” 

    Source: TH