China proposes to launch climate information, EW system in 2nd Indian Ocean Region Forum

The second meeting of the China-sponsored China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation (CIORF) has proposed to launch the climate information and early warning system project and carry out “small yet smart” livelihood projects in the countries of the strategically vital region.

China, which is seeking to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean region, the backyard of India, had held the second meeting of CIORF, under the aegis of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), an organisation that is part of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) Leadership Group on December 7 and 8 at Kunming in southern China.

Notably, CIDCA is headed by Luo Zhaohui, former Vice Foreign Minister and Ambassador to India.

Further, CIDCA announced ahead of the meeting that the event would see the attendance of around 300 Chinese and foreign guests from over 20 countries and international organisations but did not release the list of countries that attended the meeting.

India was not invited to last year’s meeting and officials here say they are not aware of any invite this year either.

A joint statement issued by CIDCA after the meeting said the Forum, themed “Boosting Sustainable Blue Economy to Build Together a Maritime Community with a Shared Future,” discussed the development cooperation of the blue economy between China and countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

All parties noted the positive progress made in delivering the outcomes of the first Forum, namely, establishing a China-Indian Ocean Region Marine Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Cooperation Mechanism, building a China-Indian Ocean Region blue economy think tank network, and setting up a China-Africa Cooperation Centre on Satellite Remote Sensing Application.

Moreover, the list of deliverables mentioned in the joint statement included the launch of the climate information and warning system project in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and carrying out 200 “small yet smart” livelihood projects for countries in the IOR.

Besides, China will also train 20,000 professionals in various fields for countries in the Indian Ocean region, while carrying out 100 special training programmes covering green development, climate change response, ocean planning, fishery development, etc.