China And The Indian Ocean



China Fears India-Vietnam Relationships Threatens Its Dominance, Say Analysts
“The whole world is anxious about finding a strategic equalizer for China,” said Dr. Kodur Venkatesh, a Bangalore-based strategic affairs analyst. He says this is an opportune moment for India to partner with Vietnam because the small communist nation is looking for countries other than China to trade resources with. ..... India is interested in Vietnam because it controls a large part of the South China Sea, where fertile fishing grounds, oil and natural gas fields have made it a prized commodity. .......

India sees Vietnam as a powerful military ally right next door to China.

..... India promised to supply four naval patrol boats to Vietnam, which is the first military transfer to Hanoi under a $100 million line of credit. India is also pursuing a deal to supply Vietnam with BrahMos cruise missiles, a potential deterrent to Chinese vessels that have entered Vietnamese waters. ..... Vietnam needs the support of a big regional power to balance out China, and wants India to take the lead on maritime governance, security, and freedom of navigation in the region. ..... On Sunday, there were reports of a Chinese nuclear submarine docking at a Sri Lankan port near the southern tip of India. Earlier in September, another nuclear submarine there coincided with the Indian president’s visit to Vietnam. ..... China perceives the India-Vietnam relationship as a threat to its Maritime Silk Route (MSR), an initiative Chinese leader Xi Jinping proposed last year to forge economic partnerships with countries in the Asia-Pacific and on the Indian Ocean. ..... “As far as China is concerned, I think in the last two decades India has followed a single point policy: engage with China economically, but when it comes to security and political issues, particularly sensitive foreign policy issues, engage with China cautiously”
China to Extend Military Control to Indian Ocean
The Chinese regime said it’s wrapping up its construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea, and all signs suggest its next big push will be into the Indian Ocean. ..... India was caught off guard in May, when the Chinese regime docked a submarine in the nearby port of Karachi in Pakistan. Close to two months later, on July 1, Chinese defense spokesman senior Col. Yang Yujin tried lightening the concern by saying the Chinese navy’s activities in the Indian Ocean are “open and transparent.” ........ The same day, a very different announcement was made by a senior captain from China’s National Defense University. He warned India, saying they cannot view the Indian Ocean as their backyard. ..... “An effort to break out of the South China Sea, and then project into the Indian Ocean is one of the opening moves in China’s quest for global military and economic dominance” ....... The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is trying to build new international trade networks under its own control. Part of this will be its new Silk Road, which will include connecting China to Pakistan with roads, rails, and oil pipelines. The other side of this is its “Maritime Silk Road,” coupled with an effort to gain control or influence at all major maritime trade chokepoints. .......

What it’s trying to do is replicate the Pax Americana—only with a Chinese model based around selective access and strong-arming nearby countries.

..... The Pax Americana is the projection of U.S. military power, which secures free trade and supports a relative global peace. This includes placing military assets at all strategic sea lines of communications (SLOCs). ...... Experts call the Chinese version of the Pax Americana the “Pax Sinica.” To build this, the CCP plans to abandon “the traditional mentality that land outweighs sea” and begin to “protect the security of strategic SLOCs and overseas interests” ........ in its military push in the South China Sea, where it is beginning to deny access to other nations....... “It’s long been my conclusion that

China’s ultimate goal is to become the pre-eminent global superpower, and to suppress the United States where necessary

in the achievement of this goal,” Fisher said. ....... “China basically wants to benefit from such a pre-eminent position as has the United States for most of the period since World War II” ..... Because of this strategy, its version of trade requires its military to subdue everyone within its trading sphere. Its push into the Indian Ocean, coupled with land routes into Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is likewise viewed by many experts in India as

a move to surround India—one of the largest competitors to the Chinese economy

. ........ The CCP’s strategy to control maritime chokepoints is already well underway. For the outlet of the Strait of Malacca, the Chinese military has pressed into the South China Sea. For the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, they’re planning to build a military base in Djibouti. For the Turkish Straits, they’re trying to strike deals around the new Silk Road program. ...... They’ve already struck a 40-year deal with Pakistan to manage a port in Gwadar, and India isn’t happy with the idea of Chinese warships having a constant presence in its nearby waters. ......... Chinese ambitions “to make multiple access routes into the Indian Ocean.” ..... the Chinese Communications Construction Company (CCCC), China Merchants Holdings (International) (CMHI), and China State Construction and Engineering Company (CSCEC). ..... More than half of China’s dredging capacity is controlled by CCCC, which does most of its business through an overseas subsidiary, China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) ...... “As China expands into the Indian Ocean and wraps up construction in Southeast Asia,” the same types of assets it used to build islands in the South China Sea may be relocated to build ports in the Indian Ocean. ..... These ports, it states, would give the Chinese regime a “logistics chain for its naval activities in what its strategists term the Far Seas.” ...... large-scale port projects in Pakistan’s Karachi and Gwadar—as well as in nearby Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port City, Hambantota Port ........

most observers and analysts were caught off guard by the speed of the CCP’s construction in the South China Sea.

..... “You couldn’t find many analysts who could have guessed where we are today with the sand piles that China has managed to build up in the South China Sea,” Haddick said, in a phone interview. “It happened pretty suddenly and in a surprising fashion.” ...... “We shouldn’t close our minds to the possibility of further surprises in the Indian Ocean region also” ..... the CCP is planning to build 18 naval bases surrounding the Indian Ocean. It listed these bases in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Seychelles, and Madagascar. ....... these bases would give the Chinese navy a presence in the northern Indian Ocean, western Indian Ocean, and central south Indian Ocean. ..... an additional 18 overseas Chinese military bases including at Pakistan’s Gwadar Port and Sri Lanka’s Port of Hambantota (Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port). ...... In what they refer to as the “string of pearls,” they believe the Chinese regime will build a string of naval bases into the Indian Ocean, which it can use to extend its military reach. ..... the thinkers behind the CCP’s string of pearls strategy may already be eyeing the next step. ..... “China’s Indian Ocean-based ‘string of pearls’ naval base strategy to protect the country’s 21st century vision of a ‘maritime silk road’ looks like it may now extend all the way to the South Atlantic”


Masters of Psychological Warfare: How the Chinese Are Winning a Secret War
China’s regional and global sociopolitical influence has not come about accidentally. China’s ascension to the world stage has been marked by a pattern of strategic, psychological maneuvers. This pattern is part of a broader set of political warfare efforts, known as the

“three warfares”: psychological, legal, and public opinion warfare

. ......... With influence over the perspectives of nations and individuals, China can effectively create social and cultural conditions that are advantageous to the Chinese regime’s political and military goals. While the strategic nature of China’s influence operations remains a process that is primarily overseen by the Chinese military and government, the agents of its maneuvers are not limited to state actors. ...... Non-state actors have an important role in Chinese influence operations, particularly in those operations aimed at shaping the American perception of China. One example of this dynamic is the evident success of Chinese influence operations on the American perception of China’s cyberwar capabilities. ......

the Chinese government has intentionally placed a real fear of cyberattacks into the American psyche

...... The ever present threat of computer hacking and cyberattacks originating from China can erode the American sense of security. The past decade of countless cyberattacks on small businesses and the more recent major corporate and government hacks have left Americans asking, “Are we still safe?” ..... Perceived power can be just as effective as actual power. ....

The United States cannot expect to win a game that it refuses to acknowledge.

..... a good start for the United States would be simply to recognize the reality of Chinese influence operations against the United States and its interests


India Could Increase Presence in South China Sea With US ‘Encouragement’
a number of international strategists and experts with a penchant for hyperbole have lately been describing the vast geographic expanse usually called the Asia–Pacific region as

the “Indo–Pacific region.”

....... a tacit encouragement to India to play a more assertive role, particularly in Asia ..... A key player to emerge is China, whose belligerent posturing in the East and South China Seas has unnerved its neighboring countries. There is, in the East, the dispute between China and Japan over the group of islands that the Japanese call “Senkaku” and the Chinese “Diaoyu.” In the South, China has a dispute over the sovereignty of islands that are claimed by several littoral states. ...... These islands appear as mere strips of land surrounded by water, as is the case with

the multitude of such islands that appear in the Indian Ocean stretching from India right up to Australia

. However, the islands in the South China Sea are rich in minerals, and they are particularly rich in oil and gas, badly needed by energy-hungry China to fuel and sustain its industrialization and future development. China’s bellicose behavior may appear to be a case of land grabbing, but it is also aimed at getting the rich minerals that lie buried underneath the islands. ....... The U.S. administration has also been encouraging India to play an active role in the South China Sea. .... the channels of trade and communication and also the sea should be kept open, as defined in the treaty on the International Law of the Sea. ...... the Indian navy’s first appearance in the waters in 2000 was a clear message to China that it would not hesitate to defend its energy investments in the waters near Vietnam. ......

Individual ASEAN member states, particularly Vietnam and the Philippines, have been discreetly encouraging India to strengthen its presence in the waters.

..... While Vietnam has strengthened its naval activities to curb China’s expansionist plans, the Philippines took the matter to the U.N., much to China’s embarrassment. ..... Besides China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, other players claiming the islands are Brunei, Republic of China (Taiwan), and Malaysia. The main disputes center around the Spratly and Paracel islands, as also the maritime boundaries in the Gulf of Tonkin and further near the Indonesian Natuna Islands. Besides China’s claims to the islands and their huge crude oil and natural gas reserves, the neighbors also fear that China’s control of the world’s busiest shipping lanes could endanger their trade traffic; shipping traffic here is three times the volume of the Suez Canal. The Strait of Malacca is a crucial choke point for India’s sea trade. ........

China believes that the combined value of fishing and oil resources in the sea could be as much as a trillion dollars.

.... Terms such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and “freedom of navigation” have crept into India’s South China Sea vocabulary. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in 2014 and President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi in January 2015, these terms were included in the joint declarations issued after these visits. ...... While the idea of becoming a world policeman—or a proxy of another world policeman—is alien to India’s political culture, it will not be disinclined to playing a greater regional role. Washington will prod India to maintain a larger naval presence in the South China Sea with overt support from some ASEAN claimant members.
India’s Modi Turns the Tables on China
The three-day trip to China by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was rich in symbolism and atmospherics, but did little to remove

the basic distrust

tied to decades-long border disputes and mutual suspicion about their strategic objectives. ....... despite growing economic cooperation India remained wary of China and would carry on his policy of balancing the Chinese threat by building close ties with other powers. In a pointed allusion to the reason behind

India cultivating relations with the United States, Japan, or Australia

, Modi stressed the need to “ensure that our relationships with other countries do not become a source of concern for each other.” ....... Modi’s visit to China will be remembered for his plain speaking, by no means an insignificant achievement. For years, Indian political leaders had traveled to China and said what the Chinese wanted to hear. ...... Modi changed all that when he openly “stressed the need for China to reconsider its approach on some of the issues that hold us back from realizing full potential of our partnership” and “suggested that China should take a strategic and long-term view of our relations.” ..... This is a shift in Indian traditional defensiveness vis-à-vis China, underscoring a recalibration in policy by squarely putting the blame for stalemate in bilateral ties on China’s doorsteps. .... For all the hype about hosting Modi, China refused to yield on border issues. It refused to cease issuing stapled visas—attaching a piece of paper with a visa stamp rather than directly stamping the passport—to Indians from Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir traveling to China. The implication is that China refuses to acknowledge India’s sovereignty over those areas. ....... China maintains that the border dispute is confined to 2,000 kilometers (1,242.74 miles), largely in Arunachal Pradesh, whereas for India the dispute spans more than 4,000 kilometers, including the Aksai Chin area ceded to China by Pakistan. ..... China has bolstered its ties with Pakistan in recent weeks by promising a $46 billion investment package in the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor, between Pakistan’s Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea and China’s western Xinjiang Province, as part of Beijing’s ambitious Maritime Silk Road Initiative, and this corridor will traverse through disputed the territory in Kashmir, land occupied by Pakistan but claimed by India. ..... He views investments from China as essential if the India growth story is to be fully realized. China promised to invest over $20 billion in India over the next five years, and other pacts signed during Modi’s visit are likely to yield $10 billion worth of Chinese projects in renewable energy, the financial sector, education, railways, and ports. .... Though India has decided to become a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the limits to Sino-Indian economic cooperation are underscored by

India’s reluctance to join China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative and joint scouring of the Indian Ocean seabed for resources as proposed by China

........ Indian and Chinese leaders have discussed civilizational ties for decades, but Modi is the first prime minister who engages with China on the basis of a shared cultural heritage. By emphasizing Buddhism, Modi is keen to build cultural ties involving ordinary Indians and Chinese. The decision to grant electronic visas to Chinese visitors is aimed at enhancing mutual trust with a fillip to people-to-people contacts. .... Starting with his inauguration, Modi invited the Tibetan government in exile to his inauguration and spoke openly of Chinese expansionism. .....

Modi is confident of India’s ability to emerge as a significant global player, allowing him to leverage ties with China and the United States to secure Indian interests.

He has followed a dynamic foreign policy, developing closer ties with the United States and strengthening military cooperation with Australia, Japan, and Vietnam while working to regain strategic space in the Indian Ocean region........... Modi’s visits to Mongolia and South Korea after China signal that New Delhi remains keen on expanding its profile in China’s periphery. To counter Chinese presence in the Gwadar port in Pakistan, which many in India view as a potential Chinese naval hub, India is building a port in Iran’s Chabahar to gain access to Afghanistan. India has given a green light for collaborating with the United States on construction of its largest warship, the 65,000-ton aircraft carrier INS Vishal. ..... For years, Delhi was labeled as the obstacle to normalizing Sino-Indian ties. Modi has deftly turned the tables on Beijing by signaling that he is willing to go all out in enhancing cultural and economic ties. The onus of reducing strategic distrust rests with Beijing—

success or failure of the Asian century might depend on Beijing’s response.

Robert Kaplan: Center Stage for the 21st Century: Rivalry in the Indian Ocean
Modi's Trip and China’s Islands: The Battle for the Indian Ocean
South China Sea: How China’s military buildup threatens the US
Chinese Views On One Belt One Road
China's Arrival
New Chinese Missile Challenges US Naval Supremacy
Does China Need A String Of Pearls
U.S. Patrols to Test China’s Pledge on South China Sea Islands

Africa 2025
String Of Pearls
China: Getting Ready to Dominate the Indian Ocean?
China’s View of South Asia and the Indian Ocean
‘Blue-Water’ Navies in the Indian Ocean Region
Unraveling China’s “String of Pearls”
Indian Ocean or India’s ocean?
China Is Planning to Rebuild the Silk Road and Transform Global Trade Routes
China and India Today: Diplomats Jostle, Militaries Prepare
The Grand Design of China's New Trade Routes
As transit routes come online, the proportion of Chinese maritime trade passing through South China Sea chokepoints will shrink. ..... The new infrastructure built as part of the Belt and Road Initiative will support China's economic rebalancing by opening new markets, generating demand for higher value-added Chinese goods and helping China build globally competitive industries. ..... Improving transit routes will lead to new security and political risks, and China's efforts to mitigate these threats could create frictions in the very areas where Beijing is trying to diversify its trade routes.

Comments