Sino Policy for Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
It is an ancient saying that in coming times battles will be fought on water and sea routes. Global powers like the USA, UK, and France are more conscious of this as these countries have seas around them. Now the power of the world is shifting from the US bloc to China and China is becoming more dominant and center of attention, they come with their sea Policy “Near Seas defense, far seas protection”.
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China has almost complete control over the South China Sea. Coming down to the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), China is expanding its trade and feet in IOR to protect and lead its trade. From the maritime trade route, China can easily expand its trade to Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. The trade routes in the Indian oceans are very beneficial for any country to reach out to Africa, Middle East, Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Now China is investing in different countries under the heading of BRI, but the presence of US Naval fleets in the Indian ocean is a threat to China and its trading ships.
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The United States of America has complete military control over the island of Diego Garcia. This island has a very important geopolitical and strategic location. One who controls this can easily dominate the Indian Ocean region. The U.S Army has conducted several operations in Afghanistan against Al-Qaeda and in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War from the same island.
The other powers in the region are India, Pakistan, and other southeast Asian countries, and Australia on the other side. China has very good diplomatic relations with Pakistan and there is no doubt that they are on different pages for this as China has invested in Gwadar and C-PEC projects. Other Southeast Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Malaysia already have good relations and now they are signed up in BRI, which makes China’s position stronger in IOR.
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In the Middle East and African Countries, China has good trade relations with almost every country. In the Gulf of Aden, China has its military base in Djibouti where the Chinese military and Navy are present with complete operational tactics. The only country in the region is India which is not on the same side as they bend towards the United States of America. In the last few years, India and the USA signed different security agreements. There is no doubt that India took complete fear of the Chinese and now they are more in trouble as the Chinese are getting more military involvement in the Indian Ocean.
According to the vice president of the Institute of Asia-Pacific and Global Strategy in the Chinese Academy of Social Science “In layman’s terms, China has never regarded India as the main concern, whether it is a partner or an opponent, it is a secondary level.” China never considers India as a threat, and that Chinese behavior is an alarming sign for India as they hold a large area in IOR. But on the other hand, Indians are completely concerned about the Chinese military presence in IOR and they are signing different security and defense agreements with Americans, and that behavior completely shows who is behind this and who wants who.
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Now the question arises why the Chinese are increasing their military influence here? The answer is simple, China is now dominating the global power and they are about to be a new supreme of the world. They are coming with the military in the Indian ocean region just to counter US fleets and military bases to hold and control the trade routes and seas. In this concern, they have a very safe and open route from Gwadar, Pakistan. China invests in undergrowing countries and makes these countries its defense partners and then controls the whole region.
About Author: AsadUllah Qamar is an undergraduate student of BS International Relations at National University of Modern Languages.
The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editoral policy of Global Defense Insight.