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10/05/2019 - Geography

iasparliament
May 10, 2019
17 days
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1

How does Kra isthumus canal provide huge opportunities to India from various perspectives? Substantiate (200 Words)

Refer - Business Standard

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IAS Parliament 14 days

KEYPOINTS

The Thai Canal, also known as Kra Canal or Kra Isthmus Canal, refers to proposals for a canal that would connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea across the Kra Isthmus in southern Thailand.

Transport

·        The Thai canal is an alternative to an existing route that is congested, and which China does not control.

·        The economic case for the Thai canal is at best marginal — the route makes sense only for the largest ships on long haul voyages, when fuel prices are high, if transit fees are low and if the Straits of Malacca are congested.

Economic perspective

·        The Thai proponents like it because the canal project will be accompanied by special economic zones that will boost their economy.

·        The Thai canal is no longer an existential threat to the two economies (India and China).

·        Indeed, if the sovereign wealth funds of the two countries acquire stakes in the Thai Canal, they will be able to offset some of the losses from the lost marine traffic.

Geo-political perspective

·        It acts as boost to Look-east policy, helps in integration of southeast asian nations.

·        India’s easy access to Pacific ocean, and boost relations with southeast asian nations.

Concerns

·        The main concerns are geopolitical and strategic. Chinese firms will have a vantage point in the Bay of Bengal and the Chinese Navy will have a faster, friendlier route into the Indian Ocean.

·        However, India is suitably placed, literally, to address these concerns by making appropriate investments in the Andamans and in our naval force structure. 

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