Who: Sonadia Island Port Project with China
What: Cancelled by Bangladesh
When: 8 February 2016
Sonadia Island: A potential deepwater port lying on the Bay of Bengal
The place Sonadia Island was in news on 8 February 2016. It was in news because, as per newspaper reports, Bangladesh cancelled China’s proposal to develop a deep sea port on the island that lies in the Bay of Bengal.
Sonadia Island is a small island of about 9-sq.km offshore of the Cox’s Bazaar coast in Chittagong Division, Bangladesh.
The island is seen as a potential deepwater port that could serve the landlocked parts of India, Myanmar and China.
The island is of geo-strategic significance and development of the deep sea water port by China would have posed threat to India’s maritime interest because of proximity of Chittagong to Indian coastline.
In lieu of Bangladesh cancelling Chinese proposal, India, as it is claimed by reports, has expressed its keenness in developing Bangladesh newest deep sea port at Payra, which is close to Chittagong. This development is an indication of improving Indo-Bangladesh ties.
Also, there are reports that Japan too is expected to develop another deep sea port at Matarbari in Cox’s Bazar for Bangladesh.