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Not just debt, neighbours also saddled with defective Chinese hardware
Not just debt, neighbours also saddled with defective Chinese hardware

New Delhi, April 10 (TIWN) China's strategic military sales to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand has raised security concerns in the Indian Ocean Region. China aims to be a key defence exporter to many Asian and South East Asian countries in India's neighbourhood.

The Bangladesh military imported the 02 Type 035G submarines of 1970s vintage and Type 053H frigates from China, now their import dependence on Chinese hardware is touching 85 percent.  Myanmar after the military coup in 2021 and sanctions by the West, has turned towards China and is procuring the majority of its military hardware from that country.  Sri Lanka has received warships and military aircraft (Harbins, J-7) in recent times.  Nepal continues to be aggressively wooed by China in the recent past for procuring Chinese military hardware with a NPR 2.5 billion grant for the Nepalese Army.  The Chinese development of overseas bases in the Indian Ocean Region continues to unnerve the Indian military planners.  The commissioning of the Djibouti military base in 2017, development of Gwadar port in Pakistan and taking over of Hambantota port in Sri Lanka gives them a credible infrastructure where they can position military assets in the region.  The new entrant in this club is Pekua port in Bangladesh.  China plans to develop this port and offer it for berthing and maintenance of submarines given to Bangladesh.

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