India-Myanmar review trade and border cooperation
On October 1, 2020, India and Myanmar held a virtual meeting that was headed by the secretaries of the respective governments.
The countries reviewed international border cooperation and also the entire gamut of relations. They also discussed on several other areas of cooperation such as power, energy, cultural cooperation, etc. During the meet, India reiterated the priority it attaches with Myanmar in accordance with its Neighborhood First and Act East Policy.
During the meet, India assured Myanmar that it will share its capabilities of COVID-19 vaccine with Myanmar.
Myanmar shares 1,640 km of border line with India. They also discussed to operationalize the Sittwe port by 2021.
Sittwe port is a part of Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project. The port is crucial to India’s plan in the north east. It is being considered as an alternate route to the Siliguri Corridor. Once the port becomes operational, goods shall be carried through Aizwal-Zorinpuri-Palletwa axis to Kaladan river. The port is considered as “Chabahar of the East”. Chabahar is a port in Iran that is being developed by India.
It is also known as Chicken neck. It is a narrow stretch of 22 km of land located in West Bengal. The corridor is the only route that connects Indian mainland with the north eastern states. The region is heavily patrolled by the West Bengal Police, Border Security Force, Indian Army and Assam Rifles. This is mainly because Chinese try to block this route creating tensions in the region. If blocked it will become easy to capture the entire North East. This was the main intension of the Chinese behind the Doklam stand-off that occurred in 2016.
The Tetulia Corridor is being proposed as an alternate to the Siliguri Corridor.
The corridor is a 4 to 6 km passage that will connect the North Dinajpur district in West Bengal through Upazila in Bangladesh.