STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

China’s Tryst with the IORA: Factoring India and the Indian Ocean

Jagannath P. Panda is Research Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • September 2014
    Volume: 
    38
    Issue: 
    5
    Articles

    Engaging with a multilateral body requires constructive foreign policy forethought, especially for a country that is not a fully fledged member of that body. China’s overtures to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) exemplify this approach. The Indian Ocean and India are the two most immediate elements in China’s policy approach to the IORA. With 20 member states, extra-territorial major powers as important dialogue partners, and the increasing importance of energy politics in the region, the IORA today is a significant multilateral body in China’s calculus. Beijing’s involvement with the IORA bespeaks the construct and strategy of a great power. For India, China’s power construct in this matter poses three challenges: Beijing as a maritime power; Beijing as an economic power; and Beijing as a polygonal power.

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