Charting a Maritime Security Cooperation Mechanism in the Indian Ocean: Sharing Responsibilities among Littoral States and User States

Nong Hong is Associate Research Professor at the Research Centre for Oceans Law and Policy, National Institute for the South China Sea Studies, Hainan, China, and Adjunct Senior Fellow, China Institute, University of Alberta, Canada.
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  • May 2012

    The main objective of this article is to highlight the challenge of maritime security in the region geographically bounded by the Indian Ocean. It studies the current status of maritime security in the region from both the traditional and non-traditional points of view. From the traditional security perspective, it examines the strategic interests of the major Indian Ocean players—the China–India competition and India–US relations in particular—in addition to the existing maritime disputes among the littoral states. The non-traditional security angle includes sea lines of communication (SLOCs), piracy, maritime terrorism, natural disasters and other crimes with a maritime dimension. There is a convergence of interests between both the littoral and user states for charting a maritime security cooperation mechanism which envisages a sharing of responsibilities in order to achieve the short-term and long-term maritime security of the Indian Ocean.