Indian Ocean Region

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  • Dattatreaya Nimbalkar asked: Why has India's ‘necklace of diamonds’ strategy in the Indian Ocean Region not been as successful compared to China's 'string of pearls’ strategy?

    Abhay Kumar Singh replies: At the core of this question lies conceptual confusion between key phrases used to describe strategic policies pronounced or promulgated by the government and lexicons used by strategic experts and commentators in interpreting official policies.

    Time to Leverage the Strategic Potential of Andaman & Nicobar Islands

    A focused development plan for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which provide India with a commanding geostrategic presence in the Bay of Bengal and access to South and Southeast Asia, could greatly enhance the country’s geopolitical leverage in the Indian Ocean Region.

    June 26, 2020

    Indraneel Bhardwaj asked: As an aspiring ‘net security provider’ in the IOR, is India suitably equipped for undertaking MOOTW in the IOR?

    Roby Thomas replies: India and the Indian Navy have emerged as the first port of call and a dependable partner for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) littoral navies to address their maritime security needs.

    Indian Ocean Perspectives: From Sea Power to Ocean Prosperity

    Long before the Atlantic and the Pacific became theatres for commerce and conflict, the Indian Ocean was home to considerable commercial and cultural intercourse. Most recent literature has, however, focused on maritime security and sea power while greater attention ought to be paid to economic development around the Indian Ocean. India’s plans for the development of the ‘Blue Economy’ augurs well for the region.

    September 2019

    Geopolitics of Western Indian Ocean: Unravelling China’s Multi-dimensional Presence

    The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) is now attaining centrestage in the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean. Apart from France and the US, China holds significant interests in the WIO. China’s interests with the WIO states could be divided in four categories: dual-use infrastructure building, politico-diplomatic focus, connectivity-access and military activities. All four are interconnected and facilitate China’s desire to project power. For China, activities in the WIO serve the purpose of ensuring energy supplies, maintaining economic growth and securing military interests.

    September 2019

    India’s Domestic Debate over China’s Growing Strategic Presence in the Indian Ocean

    This article seeks to capture the domestic debate in India over China’s activities in the Indian Ocean. It engages the critical geopolitical articulation around formal, practical and popular geopolitics, and provides a narrow perspective on the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). It begins with a look at how India and China perceive the IOR, which is crucial to understand how the Indian Ocean is framed in the public consciousness in India.

    January-March 2019

    Sanchit Matta asked: What is the geo-strategic potential of the Great Channel? How can it curtail the benefits of the Malacca Strait?

    Abhay Kumar Singh replies: The Great Channel in the Indian Ocean separates Great Nicobar Island of India and Aceh Province of Indonesia. The Great Channel is located at six degrees north of equator and is popularly referred to as the ‘Six Degree Channel’. The width of the Great Channel is 163 Km (88 nautical miles) between Indira Point in Great Nicobar and Rondo Island of Indonesia’s Aceh Province. A deep and clear channel, it is suitable for navigation by large merchant vessels.

    Parth Sharma asked: Is China's debt diplomacy a conscious effort to acquire strategic footprint in the Indian Ocean?

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar replies: China’s overtures to nations in the form of easy loans, some of which have turned into debt traps, can be viewed as a geo-economic strategy to achieve both economic and non-economic goals. This approach and methodology also helps in furthering its Belt and Road Initiative or BRI project, which can be called Xi Jinping’s “Prized Project”.

    Indian Diaspora in Reunion Island: A Strategic Asset

    Wherever Indians have migrated, they have carried with them their culture, which has subsequently served to build multi-layered bridges with their country of origin. The article studies the Indian migration to the French territory of Reunion Islands located in the southwestern Indian Ocean and delves into various factors, including the historical, demographic, socio-economic aspects of the evolution of the Indian diaspora.

    July 2018

    China’s Naval Base(s) in the Indian Ocean—Signs of a Maritime Grand Strategy?

    The article assesses China’s Indian Ocean strategy against the backdrop of its naval base development in Djibouti. It argues that China’s naval force posturing stems from a doctrinal shift to ocean-centric strategic thinking and is indicative of the larger gameplan of having a permanent naval presence in the Indian Ocean. China’s maritime strategy comprises four key components. First, to channel naval reinforcements for securing its maritime trade and economic interests in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)—even as it strengthens the Maritime Silk Road initiative.

    May 2017