The Chinese electronic intelligence installation that’s widely in news recently is that the maritime reconnaissance and electronic intelligence station on Great Coco Island. The island group is located in the Bay of Bengal almost 300 kilometers south of the Burmese mainland.
These islands belong to Myanmar but are taken on lease by the Chinese Government for a long.
The islands were named by Portuguese sailors. The islands had tons of coconuts growing which is why these were called Coco islands. The East India Company had occupied the Andaman and Nicobar islands within the 18th century and had built Penal colonies there. The food and essentials were brought there through Coco islands. The Jadwet family was given the Coco islands on lease. They were a respectable family of Burma. Britishers gave control to Burma thanks to the remoteness of those islands. In 1937 when
Burma was separated from India, the islands were made a self-governing Crown Colony. In 1942 Coco Islands were appropriated by the Japanese and these became politicians a part of Burma when it received freedom from the British in 1948. General Ne Win found out a penal institution within the islands and it had been called the Devil’s Islands.
Chinese Availability in Coco Islands
The Chinese Army is additionally building a base on Coco Island within the Alexandra Channel. The water body lies between the Indian Ocean and therefore the Andaman Sea north of India’s the Andaman Islands. The two islands of the Coco group are leased to China since 1994. These are located at an important point in traffic routes between the Bay of Bengal and therefore the Strait of Malacca. The Coco Islands are often wont to monitor Indian naval and missile launch facilities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the south and movements of the Indian Navy and other navies throughout the eastern Indian Ocean. The construction of the good Coco Island station started in late 1992 by placing, 45-50 m antenna tower, radar sites, and other electronic facilities. These formed a comprehensive SIGINT collection facility. In mid-1993, 70 Chinese naval personnel began operation of the new radar equipment. It was by the summer of 1994, the PLA, the radar, and SIGINT facilities were complete and prepared to be used.
Coco Island: Strategic Significance
China has been performing on an expansionist policy since the 1990s. It is supported by Sri Lanka and Myanmar alongside Bangladesh within the Indian Ocean and therefore the Bay of Bengal. China wishes its expansion to be both economic and political.
Sanat Kaul has said that India has untapped resources within the name of Andaman and Nicobar islands and thanks to the imposition of sanctions by the West, Myanmar has come up as a support to China.
China took advantage of this and established a robust military presence on Coco Islands. Myanmar lets China access its naval routes and ports and also features a troubled port at Kyaukpyu within the Bay of Bengal. It has installed an 85-meter jetty, naval facilities, and Electronic Intelligence systems at Great Coco Islands.
There is an enormous number of Chinese military technology and men supported these islands. The presence of the Coco islands may be a way for the Chinese Blue Water Navy to become a reality. It is a neighborhood of China’s decision to encircle India through the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean. China also has its oil and energy supplies being shipped through the Strait of Malacca route. India, the US, Japan, and Australia are all concerned about China’s presence everywhere.