China’s and has reiterated its adherence to the

China’s Maritime strategy & Indias security Dilemna

China’s hectic maritime manoeuvering and
disconcerting strategic manipulations in the Indian Ocean is causing grave
security threat to Indias commercial marine and vulnerable naval interest
especially in the ecologically rich, Bay of Bengal islands like Andaman &
Nicobar. In the wake of the recent developments involving Chinas growing
surveillance of the Indian ocean region which has been substantiated by the
reported presence of a tender submarine belonging to the PLAN in vicinity of
Nicobar Island. This submarine was detected by the recently established Andaman
& Nicobar Command, which is a tangible and an ostensible clue of the
consolidated presence of the Chinese Naval fleet across the Indian Ocean

To offset the Chinese move to encircle
India, India & Japan have agreed to come to the negotiating table for
upgrading civil  infrastructure in the
Andaman & Nicobar island located in the close vicinity of strategically
important Indian Archipelago and the submission of a Japanese proposal to build
a 15 MW Diesel Power plant on south Andaman Island is now a right step in the
right earnest.

Beijing’s (PLAN) has nevertheless denied
the alleged accusation of the Indian defence minister that China is furtively
trying to establish its Naval supremacy in the Asia pacific region and has
reiterated its adherence to the principle of peaceful coexistence and policy of
mutual respect for national sovereignty. On the contrary it is much more
evident that its growing activity in Indian Ocean is motivated by its hidden
desire to establish a new regional geomorphic and demographic equation in the
entire Asia-Pacific region including Tibet, Burma, Philippines and Malaccan
Peninsula which smacks of Chinese hegemony. Though China’s communist regime
vehemently endorses China’s peaceful resurgence, but the evolving of a
strategic network of naval outpost and expansion of its naval prowess which is
marked by its ever increasing offshore defence fire power & offensive
strike capabilities which will transform Chinese Navy with the distintion of
second largest Naval fleet by 2030. The people’s Republic of China’s new
military doctrine focuses its venture to modernise its armed forces and
acquisition of advanced operational preparedness.

Its modernisation plan in the sharp
& vigilant eyes of the PLAN includes acquisition of new & more
sophisticated submarines, air carriers, frigates and destroyers which has
culminated into an envious figure of 415 warships in 15 yrs.

The most imperative priority for Beijing
is the protection of its SLOC’s (Sea line of communication) as nearly 50% of
China’s oil imports transits from the straits of Hormuz while 87% of its oil
import is transited from Malacca strait in South East Asia.

China since 2012 has been relentlessly
trying to expand its maritime power in order to safeguard its strategic &
economic interests under the leadership of former President Hu Jin Tao which
was followed equally by President Xi Jinping who launched the Maritime Silk
Road Initiative encompassing a wider integration level between China, southeast
Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

While China tries to project Chinese
foray in the Indian Ocean region & South East Asia as a purely commercial
venture, but India’s defence analysts and thinktanks believe that China’s
venture some tactics such as expansion of its strategic out posts could be
employed to militarise the region to mitigate/thwart the risk of any substantial
disruption of its supply lines in South East Asia or in the Indian Ocean
region. But this may lead to creation of regional imbalance of power in the
foreseeable future.

Security Apprehensions for India

The growing proliferation of Chinese
military bases and Naval fleet in the Indian Ocean could lead to spurt in the
level of non-challance and animosity between India and China which may lead to
militarisation of the Area especially South East Asia region in Indian ocean.

Lately Beijings blatant move to forge
closer friendly relations with littoral countries like Maldives, mauritius,
Madagascar, Srilanka etc. endorses strongly about Chinese non-too non-sense
policy of rewriting the power equation in the geographically and commercially
vital Indian ocean region. It has in no uncertain terms underscored China’s
attempt to expand its naval presence and consolidate the navigational strength
and cementing its diplomatic relations with non-too significant countries that
are ready to provide bases & support, which is vital to enhance the level
of protection of critical SLOC’s. New Delhi in order to neutralise the
aggressive presence of the PLAN in the region has allocated massive finds for
expansion of its Naval forces and upgrading its capabilities upto 200 ships which
includes six indigenously built nuclear powered submarine, Ins Arihant by 2027.

On the other hand India has adopted a
prudent stance by maintaining a cordial relationship with Washington which may
prove a close & reliable ally to India and a formidable enemy for China.


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