5:16 pm - Sunday May 23, 5965

Bangladesh scraps China-proposed deep sea port

In yet another indication of improving Indo-Bangladesh ties, reports on Monday claimed that India may soon win a contract to build a port for Bangladesh, while the latter cancelled a deep sea port which was to be built by China earlier.

As per a ToI report, New Delhi has expressed its keenness in developing the neighbour’s newest deep sea port – Payra.

The move by India is significant as it is bound to take the bilateral ties between the two South b-d-portAsian neighbours to a new high.

Meanwhile, Japan is also expected to develop another deep sea port – Matarbari – in Cox’s Bazar for Bangladesh.

With the Asian allies keen on improving the strategic bilateral ties, Dhaka, it has emerged, has quietly killed the Sonadia project in Cox’s Bazar, which was supposed to be developed by China.

With Bangladesh killing the Sonadia port project, which like the Hambantota and Gwadar ports were deemed to be part of China’s much talked about “string of pearls” strategy to encircle India, it is likely to be a big loss for the Dragon.

The Payra sea port, which is on the south-western corner of Bangladesh, close to Chittagong, is much closer to the Indian coastline.

Dhaka’s cancellation of the Sonadia port, on the south-eastern corner of Bangladesh, has scuttled China’s plan to come closer to India by increasaing its presence in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

While the official reason for cancellation of the Sonadia port was lack of commercial viability,the Japan-developed Matarbari is only 25km away. China had not only prepared a feasibility study for Sonadia, it had reportedly promised deep funding for the port.

The cancellation of Sonadia is clearly a strategic decision by Bangladesh, doubtlessly helped along by India, Japan and the US.

Courtesy: Zee Media Bureau