Regardless of the concessions Beijing is willing to offer on the NSG and bilateral issues, New Delhi has reason to continue viewing China’s maritime manoeuvres in the Indian Ocean Region with suspicion.
In purely legal terms, the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s decision will be binding, and a refusal to abide by its findings could have consequences. Beijing has, however, made it clear that in the event of a negative ruling it will simply ignore the judgment.
India’s future submarine fleet operations are likely to involve SSKs and SSNs operating in the littoral spaces, in a strategic environment sanitized and protected by SSBNs. If New Delhi can ensure compliance with present construction deadlines, it could put its submarine modernization plans back on track.
For Indian observers, it is useful to extrapolate known Chinese position in the Indian Ocean Region and assess Beijing’s likely strategic behaviour. Indian policymakers might well recognise the fact that once China finds itself in a position of maritime advantage, diplomatic engagement has limited utility as a bargaining tactic.
Africa needs not only maritime administration frameworks and the local capacity to enforce regulations, but also a model for sustainable blue-economy development that does not result in the destruction of its natural maritime habitat. In this, it can use India’s assistance.
Research Fellow, IDSA, Cdr Abhijit Singh’s article on joint Naval Exercise ‘Malabar’, titled ‘Malabar 2015: Strategic Power Play in the Indian Ocean’ was published in ‘The Diplomat’ on October 28, 2015.
Research Fellow, IDSA, Cdr Abhijit Singh’s article on India-US Maritime Relationship, titled ‘Shared Destiny in the Asian Commons: Evaluating the India-U.S. Maritime Relationship’ was published in The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) on October 22, 2015.