China gets ISBA nod for mining in Indian Ocean



New Delhi: China's application to carry out deep sea mining and exploration activities in South-West Indian Ocean Ridge has been approved by International Seabed Authority, Parliament was informed on Monday.

Replying to a question in Lok Sabha on the implication of Chinese dominance in Indian Ocean, Defence Minister A K Antony said, "Government keeps a constant watch on all developments concerning our national security and commercial interest and it takes all necessary measures to safe guard them."

Antony informed Parliament that the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA) has filed its application with the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) for Deep Sea Mining Exploration Licence and for approval of its plan.

China has sought approval for exploring polymetallic sulphides in South-West Indian Ocean Ridge.

"The application has been approved by the International Seabed Authority in July 2011," the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju, replying to a question on security implications of import from China, said government has advised Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to ensure that components of encryption products manufactured by it are not imported from China.

"Government has taken cognizance of security implications of import of electronic components from China, especially while manufacturing encryption products," Raju said.

Raju said, "BEL, a Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) which is a manufacturer of strategic defence electronics system has been advised to ensure that components of encryption products manufactured by it are not imported from China."

PTI