India steps up military aid to Myanmar to offset China’s might

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Yusuf, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    NEW DELHI: From rocket launchers to Islander maritime patrol aircraft, wargaming software to counter-insurgency training, India is steadily stepping up military aid to Myanmar to counterbalance the deep strategic inroads made by China into that country.

    During his ongoing visit to Myanmar, Army chief General Bikram Singh has held talks with President U Thein Sein, foreign minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, commander-in-chief of the defence services, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, among others, to discuss measures to further bolster bilateral defence cooperation.

    "Myanmar is very keen to expand its defence ties with India in terms of supply of military equipment and spares, training and border cooperation. The country has agreed to base an Indian Army Training Team on its soil, on the lines of what we have with Bhutan, Botswana and others, in the near future," said an official.

    India is providing rocket launchers, mortars, rifles, radars, night-vision devices, Gypsies, bailey bridges, communication and Inmarsat sets as well as road construction equipment like dozers, tippers and soil compacters to the Myanmarese armed forces.

    A unique gesture during Gen Singh's visit was the handing over of two wargaming software packages called "Combat decision resolution" and "Infantry company commanders tactical trainer" customized for training of the Myanmarese Army as well as five hand-gliders for the Defence Services Academy at Pwin Oo Lwin.

    "India has also offered the Myanmarese armed forces special training packages in the Indian Army's counter-insurgency and jungle warfare school at Vairengte in Mizoram. The Army alone already provides them over 100 vacancies every year in its different training establishments. The Navy and IAF, too, are chipping in with training," said the official.

    "They are very keen on courses in mechanised forces like tanks and infantry combat vehicles, information technology, intelligence and English language, among other areas. The Myanmar Army chief will be visiting India from December 11 to 14," he added.

    After disregarding China's expanding footprint in Myanmar — the only Asean country with which India shares a 1,643-km land as well as a maritime border — New Delhi has been trying to play catch-up over the last few years. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Naypyitaw in May 2012, the first such visit in 25 years, established the foundation for enhanced diplomatic, economic and military cooperation with Myanmar.

    Since then, defence minister A K Antony and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, also the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, have also visited Myanmar to cement the military ties. Even the western countries are now trying to engage with the Myanmarese military junta, with Barack Obama becoming the first US President to visit Naypyitaw last November.
    I-G likes this.
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Good beginning.
    Yusuf and I-G like this.
  4. nirranj

    nirranj Regular Member

    Jun 21, 2013
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    We Should also do more to expand our Economic foot print In Myanmar. The Chinese and Japs are Ahead of us in overall trade with the Burmese.
  5. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

    Feb 7, 2011
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    Calcutta, India, India
    well keep up the momentum
  6. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

    Sep 12, 2013
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    good job by indian govt to recognize the need for increasing the foreign relations with our neighbors............these steps should have been undertaken long ago.......

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