Project Mausam, India's answer to China's maritime might: Explained

Narendra Modi Government will soon launch 'Project Mausam'
In a significant move, the Narendra Modi Government will soon launch 'Project Mausam' for countering Beijing's growing influence in the Indian Ocean region. This transnational program is aimed at restoring India's ancient maritime routes and cultural links with republics in the region.

Project Mausam: India's answer to China's ‘Maritime Silk Road'

  • It is Narendra Modi Government's most significant foreign policy initiative to counter-balance the maritime silk route of China.
  • The project emphasises on the natural wind phenomenon, mainly the monsoon winds used by Indian sailors in ancient times for maritime trade.
  • This initiative will enable India re-connect and re-establish communications with its ancient friends in the Indian Ocean region.
  • It would lead to an enhanced understanding of cultural values and concerns.
  • The project purposes to determine the Indian Ocean "world" - expanding from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago.

What is China's maritime silk route?

  • It an initiative to develop regions along an ancient route connecting Western China with South and Central Asia. 
  • The aim of this initiative is to strengthen China's economic ties with various nations, including those within Asia and Europe.
  • It proposes China to work with partners to develop maritime infrastructure, especially ports.
  • Originally, the "maritime silk road" was proposed to foster cooperation and goodwill between China and the ASEAN countries. 
  • The "maritime silk road" is parallel to the land-based "new silk road," which runs westward from China through the Central Asian states.
  • The route is likely to see China further intensify its naval activities in the region.
  • It extends from its naval base in Hainan Island (South China Sea) to Bagamayo in Tanzania, Africa, with several of the ports encircling mainland India. 
  • Hambantota (Sri Lanka), Gwadar (Pakistan), Chittagong (Bangladesh) and Marao Atoll (Maldives) are the ports being built by China as per the initiative.

What is Silk Route?

  • It is a series of trade and cultural transmission routes.
  • It connected the West and East by linking traders, merchants and other persons from China to the Mediterranean Sea.
  • It derives its name from lucrative Chinese silk trade, a major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive transcontinental network.

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