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India to build major military facility in Seychelles amid growing China influence

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India signs 20-year-pact with Seychelles to build airstrip and jetty for navy on Assumption Island 

By Samuel Osborne

Insecurities deepen in Delhi after Beijing inaugurates overseas base near one of world’s busiest shipping lane.

India is preparing to build a military base in the Seychelles as part of the country’s ongoing contest with China for influence in the Indian Ocean.

Last month, India signed a 20 year pact with the Seychelles to build an airstrip and a jetty for its navy on Assumption Island.

The Seychelles are of high strategic importance to India, as the island chain lies close to key global shipping lanes.

It came after China inaugurated its first overseas military base in Djibouti last year, near one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, deepening Indian insecurities and pushing it to gain a foothold in the region.

The pact, which was first announced when the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited the islands in 2015, has faced problems as critics who feared a handover of territory demanded the Seychelles government make clear the terms of India’s role.

 Credits| Independent


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