India to monitor shipping in Indian Ocean

India is about to launch a cabinet-approved plan to keep surveillance on shipping in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

The plan, which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), entails the collection of shipping information from 24 countries from the African East Coast to the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

According to reports, China has not been included in the data-sharing agreement. “We have the CCS approval to go ahead for collating white shipping (non-military shipping) information. We will go country by country to have greater transparency of what all (ships) passes through these waters,” Indian Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan told India’s newspapers The Tribune.

The data will be collected by ground-based, airborne and space-based monitoring systems.

According to Admiral Dhowan, the move is not targeting any country in the region but is aimed at looking after maritime interests in the Indian Ocean Region and utilizing useful data.

The region, which covers major choke points for crude oil shipping, one of them being the Strait of Malacca is seen as being of great strategic importance.


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