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Thread: India To Build Major Overseas Military Base Off Africa To Combat China

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    Default India To Build Major Overseas Military Base Off Africa To Combat China

    India is preparing to construct a significant overseas military base on an island in Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa to counter growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean.

    Last month, Seychelles and India signed a twenty-year agreement, permitting the Indian military to build an airbase and naval installations on Assumption Island, a small island in the Outer Islands of Seychelles north of Madagascar, said Seychelles News Agency.
    “This [agreement] reinforces our commitment to not only further deepen India-Seychelles relations, but to also take our partnership to another level,” Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said in a statement.
    “The [mutual] co-operation is exemplified by the operationalization of the Coastal Surveillance Radar System [CSRS] in March 2016, and our commitment to augment the defense assets and capability of Seychelles,” he added.
    The agreement enhances India’s military capabilities and maritime surveillance of Seychelles’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 1.37 million square km. Assumption Island will serve as a strategic staging area for the Indian military, as the island chain resides between crucial global shipping lanes.

    This is key as in 2016 alone, “approximately 40 million barrels of oil per day — equivalent to just under half of the world’s total oil supply — traveled through Indian Ocean entry and exit points, including the Straits of Hormuz, Malacca, and Bab el-Mandeb,” said CNN.
    The EIA classifies the region as a significant chokepoint for maritime transit of oil. More specifically, the EIA calculates roughly 5.8 million barrels per day travels directly by Seychelles, which then ultimately flows to the West. This would indicate India does not just recognize Seychelles as a critical part of its global energy security, but perhaps, India’s push to control the island is a proxy of Washington.

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