According to a report, India warned Myanmar about a Chinese spy post on an island in the Bay of Bengal.

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There has been a boundary dispute between India and China along the eastern (Arunachal) and western sections.

According to Bloomberg, which cited Indian officials, India has recently faced Myanmar with information demonstrating that China is assisting in the construction of a surveillance post on a remote island in the Bay of Bengal. Chinese workers could be seen assisting with the construction of a listening station on the Coco Islands in the Indian Ocean, according to satellite images that the Indian government’s representatives shared with their counterparts from Myanmar. According to the report, the workmen were also observed extending an airst

rip.

In the meetings, the report said, representatives from Myanmar denied any Chinese involvement and dismissed India’s concerns. Howev

er, India remains worried that the infrastructure will allow China to monitor communications from naval bases and track missiles from test sites on its eastern coastline, the officials said.

India and China have been engaged in a border dispute along the eastern (Arunachal) and western sectors (Ladakh). While the dispute has been going on for years, the fresh tension began in 2020 after Beijing amassed thousands of troops along LAC in Ladakh. Just days ago, China renamed 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh. Besides land, Beijing

also wants to contain India in the sea.

Major General Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council, has rejected the claims that China was building a spy facility in the Coco Islands. He denied that the topic ever came up with Chinese or Indian officials, and said Myanmar would never allow access to foreign troops, the report said.

“Myanmar and India always have discussions at many levels, but there was no specific discussion on this issue. The Indian government already knows perfectly well that only Myanmar security forces are based there, and they are doing defense activities for their own country,” the army general told Bloomberg.

This comes just a week after UK-based Chatham House came out with a paper titled: ‘Is Myanmar building a spy base on Great Coco Island?’ The authors of the report said new satellite imagery showed mysterious construction on an archipelago close to a strategic Indian navy outpost. The paper said Myanmar’s Coco Islands in the Bay of Bengal have long been the subject of geopolitical intrigue and controversy among analysts. “The most common allegation is that since the early 1990s, Myanmar has allowed a Chinese signals intelligence facility on the archipelago.”

Myanmar’s reliance on China has increased following sanctions from Europe and the US after a military coup in 2021. With Myanmar’s armed forces struggling to control large swaths of the country and with the economy in freefall, China seems to be shoring up the regime and protecting its investments for now, the paper said.

The junta was reportedly deploying its last few troops to safeguard the Chinese corporations while they were working on important infrastructure projects like deep-water ports on the ground, according to the newspaper. As New Delhi works to offset China’s expanding influence in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region, this has consequences for India’s strategic objectives in the area. With the Coco Island expansions, India would soon have to deal with a new airbase nearby in a nation that is becoming more and more dependent on Beijing, the publication warned.

Bloomberg said that China’s research vessels used for eavesdropping in the Indian Ocean have not moored at Great Coco Island because India believes that China has no offensive military capabilities there. Despite the fact that Chinese workers frequently turned up to assist with equipment setup, the Indian officials assured the news agency that no permanent Chinese staff were stationed on the islands. According to the diplomats, India intends to keep putting pressure on Myanmar’s junta to prevent China from running the espionage post.

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