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Syed Tahseen Raza asked: What is China's String of Pearl doctrine?

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  • Rukmani Gupta replies: China 's investments in India's strategic neighbourhood are seen by some as part of a concerted strategy by the Chinese PLA to limit, if not contain, India's power projection abilities. These investments stretch from the South China Sea to the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. Sittwe and Coco Islands in Myanmar, alleged investments in port facilities in Thailand and Cambodia, Chittagong in Bangladesh, Hambantota in Sri Lanka, Gwadar in Pakistan along with investments in the Maldives are said to be components of this “String of Pearls”. China’s military modernization, its pursuit of a blue-water navy along with the "String of Pearls" are believed to be indicators that China will seek an increasingly active role in the Indian Ocean Region.

    While there is no denying that these investments can be used to contain India's military force projection, they must also be seen for their utility in assuring China's economic and energy security in the long term.