India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby Sudip » 14 Oct 2010 23:54

SwamyG wrote:Chittagong is more strategic.



Isnt that exactly the reason why, the bangladeshis would not give it to you so easily on a platter? I think if you go by the alaska land lease principle, it was an unused piece of land which the russian empire saw now use of and sold away to US. It is the US who dug oil and created its strategic significance post WWII.
My point was to take this tiny non-significant port (which would be politically digestible by all parties) and then construct and develop it so that it becomes the largest port in the region (maybe overtake chittagong which is currently their largest sea port and their source of livelihood. )

A similar parallel is the Gwadar port in baluchistan or the Hambantota port in lanka.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby SwamyG » 15 Oct 2010 00:00

^^^
So it means India would have to pay more.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby Sudip » 15 Oct 2010 00:03

SwamyG wrote:^^^
So it means India would have to pay more.


Were you expecting it for free? If yes, then that more or less explains the national conscience that why gwadar and hambantota are happening, while we sit around doing nothing about the neighbourhood.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby SwamyG » 15 Oct 2010 00:11

^^^
Did I say or imply so, huh? Why do you project things that I have not said on to me, eh? And it is downright silly to project my thoughts onto the nation. Wow, hats off to you for making gigantic leaps.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby Sudip » 15 Oct 2010 00:18

SwamyG wrote:^^^
Did I say or imply so, huh? Why do you project things that I have not said on to me, eh? And it is downright silly to project my thoughts onto the nation. Wow, hats off to you for making gigantic leaps.


No sir, just probing you to be enlightened and find out if I am missing the larger picture here through my small rusted lens. No offence. apologies if it hurt.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby SwamyG » 15 Oct 2010 00:27

No offense taken. I just placed my thoughts. And you are valid in saying BD is not going to let go off Chittagong. I totally agree on that front. By giving one region as an example, I am not saying India should stop shopping. Let it continue shopping and buy "places" as it deems fit and its purse can allow. I disagree with you on your extrapolations of my comments. Peace.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby RajeshA » 18 Oct 2010 18:57

Published on Oct 19, 2010
By Robert Kaplan
Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power

If somebody reads the book, please share your thoughts!

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby RajeshA » 20 Oct 2010 18:03

Published on Oct 19, 2010
By Thomas E. Ricks
Interview
Monsoon: Robert Kaplan's new book:
Robert Kaplan: This blog has tended to concentrate, as it should, on the wars of the moment, in Iraq and Afghanistan, messy land wars where counterinsurgency is a doctrine that the U.S. military is pursuing. This book takes military issues beyond those of the day, and suggests a future where our challenges may be primarily maritime. China and its naval rise, and the possible threat it poses to the Indian Ocean and adjacent South China Sea, figure prominently in this book, while Iraq and Afghanistan figure barely at all. Central Asia figures, though, because it will one day be linked by roads and energy pipelines to the Indian Ocean. Pakistan figures heavily, but here, too, I concentrate on what the media has generally ignored: the restive provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh on the Indian Ocean. The surprise of this book is that future wars and conflicts may be vastly different than the ones of the moment. Instead of fighting neighborhood by neighborhood in Baghdad or Kandahar, we may in the future have to influence vast spaces on the map through naval maneuvers.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby SwamyG » 21 Oct 2010 22:20

Some time back, I had created the below map highlighting what I thought are the countries/regions India should focus more about. Note, I included Tibet and Balochistan. Some of these countries have "Indic people" living already. In my opinion these countries should be within Indian Sphere of Influence (or Mandala).

Image

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby Pulikeshi » 21 Oct 2010 22:33

^ Good start for a map SwamyG.

Ratnakara Mandala: Atlantic via the Mediterranean and Pacific via the South China sea.
Everything in between, that allows India to be a pivot between West and East Brihat-Asia.
India is the center of Brihat-Asia.

Ratnakara - Ancient name for the Indian Ocean.
Ratnakara Mandala => Jewel maker's influence
String of pearls seems vulnerable and perishable :mrgreen:

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby ramana » 21 Oct 2010 22:34

Great work SwamyG. Going to put in the good posts collection.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby svinayak » 21 Oct 2010 23:09

SwamyG wrote:Some time back, I had created the below map highlighting what I thought are the countries/regions India should focus more about. Note, I included Tibet and Balochistan. Some of these countries have "Indic people" living already. In my opinion these countries should be within Indian Sphere of Influence (or Mandala).

Make the map complete with Kashmir and central asia. That is a very important.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby SwamyG » 21 Oct 2010 23:20

^^^
CA would not be IOR,no? That is why I did not have them. That would be another Mandala. And Kashmir is part of India, why separate it out :-)

And thanks for all the nice words from gurulog.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby ramana » 21 Oct 2010 23:22

SwamyG, Could you make another map including those CA area to show extent of Indian influence?

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby SwamyG » 21 Oct 2010 23:36

^^^
Yeah, in the next few weeks. You said "show extent of Indian influence"; I hope I have not implied via my map that those countries are under Indian influence now. I want to make myself clear - those countries should be under Indian radars. Some of them have Indic population and influence.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby svinayak » 21 Oct 2010 23:47

SwamyG wrote:^^^
Yeah, in the next few weeks. You said "show extent of Indian influence"; I hope I have not implied via my map that those countries are under Indian influence now. I want to make myself clear - those countries should be under Indian radars. Some of them have Indic population and influence.

Geo graphy and map gives a full picture even if they do not directly connect to India since there is cultural influence even though the population is not Indic
Visual and geo graphy is weak with Indian and they cannot think geo politcally

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby shyamd » 31 Oct 2010 04:21

Link
Mr Antony reiterated New Delhi's assurance, as conveyed by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during President Michel's visit to India earlier, for continued cooperation in all fields particularly in the field of Defence and Security. The Prime Minister had announced a $ 5 million assistance for Defence related projects for Seychelles. Over and above this, on a specific request from the Seychelles, Mr Antony agreed to provide one new Dornier and two Chetak helicopters from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for maritime surveillance, at the earliest. Although the normal delivery time is 18 to 24 months, he said, New Delhi would try to supply the aircraft in 15 months. During this period, India will provide one of her in-service Dornier aircraft to carry out maritime surveillance. Agreeing to a request from the Seychellois side, Mr Antony said India would help them to carry out EEZ surveillance as frequently as possible. He said the Indian Navy would also make additional visits this year to conduct surveillance and hydrographic survey. During these visits, Seychellois personnel can embark on board the Indian Navy ships for maintenance training and conduct drills and exercises. Mr Antony also agreed to offer help for capacity building of the Seychellois Forces.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 01 Nov 2010 19:49

Any news of India's first expedition to the south pole, which was scheduled to be flagged off today.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby darshhan » 13 Nov 2010 00:10

X-posted in "Indian naval news" thread.

Check out the following article.According to the author Chinese are justified in expanding their presence in Indian Ocean as Indians are not aggresive enough.

http://www.informationdissemination.net ... qus_thread
I've been thinking about some commentary I've been reading regarding the way China and India view each other. I wouldn't call this a Chinese Proverb per se, but there is a viewpoint in China that India isn't a very mature nation because they lack maturity in governance. Some might say that is like the pot calling the kettle black - and some might be right.

One of the more interesting arguments I have read for increased PLA Navy presence in the Indian Ocean is the argument India has such a high threshold for action that they won't police their own front lawn (The Indian Ocean).

I might be starting to believe that argument, and I'll give an example. That reported hijacking of MV Hannibal II took place along a major sea lane between Mumbai and the Suez canal, somewhere around 530 nautical miles from Mumbai. There have been attacks in the same area a few other times this year. This isn't just any city in the world, we are talking about Mumbai - the fifth largest municipality in the world. In the 2007-2008 shipping year, the Port of Mumbai handled a total of over 57 million tons of cargo, including 32.4 million tons of imports and 24.7 million tons of exports. The Port of Mumbai handled 1.4 million tons of containerized cargo in 117.6 thousand TEUs. The Port of Mumbai is also the gateway for more than half of India's sea-going passengers.

I think about piracy so near India and ask myself, what would any supposed major military power other than India do? Seriously, India has the worlds 4th largest Navy and even when considering the most optimistic Navy plans for every nation, India will operate more aircraft carriers than any nation besides the United States, will operate the third largest submarine force, and operate the fourth largest surface combatant force compared to every other Navy in the world by 2020.

But pirates can operate motherships and hijack vessels in late 2010 only 530 nautical miles off one of India's busiest ports? Apparently - YES.

Think about it like this. How many attacks, nevermind hijackings, would the United States tolerate from pirates 530 nautical miles off New York City in the main transit lane to London?
Can anyone imagine a single pirate attack, much less hijacking, being tolerated beyond a single time on a major sea lane 530nm from any major European, South American, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, or South Korean port? When the ARCTIC SEA was reportedly hijacked in 2009 near France, it was considered such a major international incident that NATO got involved - and ultimately half the deployed Russian surface Navy at the time was deployed to take care of it.

When China starts sending 4 surface combatants to protect commerce in the Indian Ocean instead of two, the only people the Indian government can blame is themselves. The Indian government threshold for caring about maritime security in their sphere of influence does not appear to be significantly greater than China's threshold when it comes to piracy - and may actually be lower in the future.

We Americans may think of it as "just piracy" but it also isn't our commerce. The irony here is that India is heavily dependent upon the maritime industry - Indians make up a huge percentage of the total global sea merchant workforce and their are some rather impressive mariner unions in India - but it doesn't seem to matter. It is European and Asian commerce and both the European and Asian Navies operate a rather large number of ships compared to India. With the problem not slowing down any in 2010, and this imagery is the record, I suspect the size of the international force will grow even larger next year.

Complaining China is being too aggressive in India's sphere of influence sounds hollow to me when India refuses to commit the resources necessary to keep the trash off their own lawn. No other major power in the world tolerates maritime insecurity like piracy within their major sea trade lanes. While India may desire to own the naval equipment of a major power, their inability to exercise the use of naval equipment like a major power leaves me thinking China is exactly right to be concerned - and exactly right to be thinking about how they will have to project power into the Indian Ocean in the future.


While I do not agree with the complete article , the author does have a valid point or two.India has to be more aggresive(including in terms of resource deployment) in Indian Ocean Region if it wants to be respected.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby abhischekcc » 14 Nov 2010 18:47

India does police waters near its coast and in the entire IOR. We have had some much publicised successes in stopping and ending hijacking of ships. If the author does not know this, then it is his problem.

Regarding the Chinese approach to India, those brain donors will not understand even if they lived in a free society for three generations.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby svinayak » 14 Nov 2010 23:18

darshhan wrote:
Complaining China is being too aggressive in India's sphere of influence sounds hollow to me when India refuses to commit the resources necessary to keep the trash off their own lawn. No other major power in the world tolerates maritime insecurity like piracy within their major sea trade lanes. While India may desire to own the naval equipment of a major power, their inability to exercise the use of naval equipment like a major power leaves me thinking China is exactly right to be concerned - and exactly right to be thinking about how they will have to project power into the Indian Ocean in the future.

While I do not agree with the complete article , the author does have a valid point or two.India has to be more aggresive(including in terms of resource deployment) in Indian Ocean Region if it wants to be respected.


What is your opinion about land encroachment near Indian borders. Do you think India had to be aggressive and also grab that land. China has encroached in Tibet and has its own pirates in that area. Should India also take care of its national interest

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby csharma » 15 Nov 2010 00:20

Shashi Tharoor's review of Kaplan's book.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 02516.html

These are all worthwhile ideas. But Kaplan too often strains to justify his interests with portentous claims: Sri Lanka is "the ultimate register of geopolitical trends in the Indian Ocean region," Burma "provides a code for understanding the world to come," Indonesia will be "a critical hub of world politics." Shoehorning his travels into the book makes for an uneven effect, with some surprising inclusions and omissions. One can't help feeling that a country has been deemed to be important because he traveled there.

In addition, the geopolitical analysis is sometimes erratic, as Kaplan hedges his bets. India and China could compete on the seas, providing an opening for the United States, or their "mutual dependence on the same sea lanes could also lead to an alliance between them that . . . might be implicitly hostile to the United States." A few pages later, "a global maritime system, loosely led by the Americans, with help from the Indians, and hopefully the Chinese" might evolve. By the end of the book, "leveraging allies must be part of a wider military strategy that seeks to draw in China as part of an Asia-centric alliance system."

Kaplan concludes that Washington, "as the benevolent outside power," must seize this "time of unprecedented opportunity" because "only by seeking at every opportunity to identify its struggles with those of the larger Indian Ocean world can American power finally be preserved."

Struggles? Finally be preserved? This is sketchy stuff at best, as if Kaplan felt the need to burden his reportage with an all-embracing thesis in order to justify putting a number of enjoyable but unconnected essays between hard covers. Memo to Washington policy-makers: "Monsoon" is a book to take on a long flight to the Far East. But it won't substitute for your dossiers when you get there.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby darshhan » 18 Nov 2010 01:07

Acharya wrote:
darshhan wrote:
Complaining China is being too aggressive in India's sphere of influence sounds hollow to me when India refuses to commit the resources necessary to keep the trash off their own lawn. No other major power in the world tolerates maritime insecurity like piracy within their major sea trade lanes. While India may desire to own the naval equipment of a major power, their inability to exercise the use of naval equipment like a major power leaves me thinking China is exactly right to be concerned - and exactly right to be thinking about how they will have to project power into the Indian Ocean in the future.

While I do not agree with the complete article , the author does have a valid point or two.India has to be more aggresive(including in terms of resource deployment) in Indian Ocean Region if it wants to be respected.


What is your opinion about land encroachment near Indian borders. Do you think India had to be aggressive and also grab that land. China has encroached in Tibet and has its own pirates in that area. Should India also take care of its national interest


Acharya ji , The above para in the quotes is written in the article.I did not write it.And I do not agree the article completely.But yes I would like India to expand its operations against the pirates.This is irrespective of whether China deploys its naval units in IOR or not.It does not augur well for India if these pirates are operating within 400-500 miles for Indian shore line.The important thing is that we send a message to these pirates.It is for our own good since these pirates are pillaging the trade routes that we depend on and not because we harbour some sort of superpower fantasy.

I also said that India should step up the deployment of naval resources to deal with these pirates.I read somewhere that Indian Navy had deployed only one frigate/ship for anti pirate operations.This is clearly not enough.But even more importantly no mercy should be shown to these pirates.They should be treated extremely harshly.In no uncertain terms they should get the message that they are forfeiting their lives once they even step into our sphere of influence.

As far as taking back our land areas are concerned , I totally agree that we should take back our lands.However before we do that we should make adequate preparations and wait for the right conditions to do so.So yes we should aggressively prepare ourselves to take back our occupied land and also aggressively create the right conditions to do so.

Anyway just because we lost our lands because of one foolish and delusional Prime Minister doesn't mean we should again lose the control of IOR to these pirates.Why commit the same mistake twice?

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby Rupesh » 18 Nov 2010 03:15

There is very little we can do to step up deployment unless we stop patrolling malacca straits. We simply don't have ships with long legs ( too few frigates and destroyers,IMVHO max IN can spare for anti piracy ops is 2 ships, not counting OPV's )

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby ramana » 18 Nov 2010 03:17

Also piracy is not the main threat so no need to run down own ships.

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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby RajeshA » 18 Jul 2011 20:12

Published on Jul 18, 2011
By B. S. Raghavan
A union of Indian Ocean nations: Hindu Business Line
The Indian Ocean community can, like the EU, transform itself into a free trade zone, and can even work towards adopting a common currency. The 59 countries in the region constitute a $6 trillion powerhouse.

July 18, 2011:
Caught in the stranglehold of concepts and models emanating from the West, the opinion leaders, strategic thinkers and policymakers of Asian countries have long shied away from examining boldly and with a fresh mind the new and exciting vistas of social, cultural and economic partnership that exist right at their doorstep. For instance, I have hardly found any discussion or even awareness among scholars of the Asian region of the invincible dynamics of one such compelling vision, namely, the Indian Ocean Community (IOC).

The thought occurred to me as I was talking to Dr S. Kalyanaraman who had held leadership positions in the Asian Development Bank, and been engaging himself in giving a new thrust, suited to the genius of Asian region, to new paradigms of collaboration and synergy which would put these countries on the fast track, if not ahead of so-called advanced countries. He is convinced that the combined strengths of 59 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim, which together constitute a six trillion dollar powerhouse, are capable of setting in motion hitherto undreamt of enterprises for making the most of their abundant human and natural resources .

ON THE LINES OF EU

Dr Kalyanaraman has elaborated the strategic calculus in his book bearing the unusual title Rastram which is not amenable to any precise translation. Its attributes transcend those of a state (mainly composed of institutions of governance) or a nation (which is a conglomerate of people with self-identity living in harmony). In his view, if only the countries of the Indian Ocean Rim constitute themselves into a collective entity, the tremendous financial and economic leverage that it will exercise will redress the imbalance of the present world economic order.

The idea has great appeal as well as relevance. The IOC, as expounded in Dr. Kalyanaraman's book, is predicated on the same rationale as the supra-national European Community which was initially conceived as a mechanism for joint policy making with reference to production and marketing of coal and steel but got expanded to full-fledged and integrated economic organisation with Euro as a common currency and a European Central Bank as a provider of banking services based on homogenous norms and criteria to all the members. This happened as an economic imperative despite the two world wars fought among the European nations.

DO-ABLE PROPOSITION

Similarly, the IOC too can transform itself into a Free Trade Zone, to start with, to provide for free movement of goods and services which, at some later stage, can even work towards adopting a common currency. It is true that it will stretch from South Africa to Tasmania along the 63,000 km of the Indian Ocean Rim, but this need not in itself be regarded as an argument against it.

There are actually three predisposing factors that make the IOC a do-able proposition: The two proposed projects for the construction of a Trans-Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway from Bangkok to Vladivostok and the extension of the territorial waters of the Indian Ocean Rim states to 200 nautical miles under the amended Law of the Sea opens up unlimited economic opportunities for mutual cooperation and harnessing the riches of the ocean.

CULTURAL TIES

Dr. Kalyanaraman's thesis is leavened by the fact that the IOC has a thousand years of socio-cultural interaction and bonds. This has found authentic expression in the lucid and impressive account of the late French epigraphist George Coedes (who also wrote about the largest Vishnu temple of the world in Angkor Wat, Cambodia and other Hindu temples of the Farther Orient).

The words États hindouisés in the title of his work, Histoire ancienne des États hindouisés d'Extrême Orient, (translated into English by Hawaii University Press as Indianised States of Southeast Asia) essentially signifies a dharma-dhamma continuum evidenced by thousands of Hindu-Buddha temples in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Burma and other states and the historical presence of Hindu kings in the region for over one millennium.

The IOC will be the first example of weaving the cultural bonds into socio-economic spheres of cooperation. It can be further buttressed by exchanges in the fields of higher technical education, use of satellite and IT technologies, oceanography and so on.

A beginning has been made by the setting up of Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation as a forum for the diplomats of the states of the region to meet annually to exchange views in the common interest of the IOC. Talks are also under way on the best means of giving economic content through Free Trade agreements and MOUs for bilateral and multi-lateral cooperation in infrastructure projects such as the development of the deltas of the Mekong and Irrawady Rivers.

This need not be seen as a competition or one-upmanship in realpolitik between India and China.

SOUTH INDIA'S ROLE

Since most of the social and cultural influences have had their origins in South India, it should not be surprising if the policymakers at the Centre in New Delhi take only minimal interest in the initiative advocated here. It will be well worthwhile for the academic community and persons prominent in public and political life in Southern States to go in depth into the significance of the proposition.

For instance, if the Chief Minister, Ms Jayalalithaa, can persuade herself about its feasibility and bring herself to draw the Centre's attention, she would have set India on a course that would bring about a revolutionary change in the complexion of world affairs.


Published on May 18, 2011
By S. Kalyanaraman
The Book: Rastram: Hindu history in United Indian Ocean States [Paperback]
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Re: India - The Indian Ocean Civilization & IOR

Postby Samudragupta » 08 Apr 2012 01:05

Sandy Gordon Uvacha.....

The Indian Ocean is Australia’s back yard:eek: (how)or at least if you live in the West. It also plays a major role in transporting energy from the oil and gas-rich Persian Gulf to Australia’s principal trading partners, China and Japan. With each passing year, these and other East Asian powers become more dependent on the free passage of oil over the Indian Ocean.

This makes China nervous. India and China have an ambivalent relationship. On the one hand they have common interests based on growing trade and similar positions in the WTO and on climate change. But on the other, they have abiding suspicions over the longstanding border dispute and what India sees as Chinese meddling in its own back yard – South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.
New Delhi is above all concerned about China’s friendship with India’s principal competitor in South Asia, Pakistan, and with its growing economic and military relationships in the Indian Ocean region.

On its part, Beijing is deeply concerned about India’s growing naval clout in the Indian Ocean. It fears that India, possibly in collusion with the US, could interdict its oil in times of rising tension or war. Even though India is far weaker than China, it has the advantage of occupying a strategic ‘box seat’ in the Indian Ocean. It also shares many commonalities with the US in terms of its longer-term strategic outlook and the two navies frequently exercise together.

All this gives rise to a classic ‘security dilemma’ in the Indian Ocean region – one in which China fears India might cut off its oil and India fears China’s counter-manoeuvres are intended to ‘surround’ it.

If this were not bad enough, the Indian Ocean is surrounded by some of the poorest, most troubled countries in the world. It confronts enormous issues of poverty and food and water scarcity. It suffers serious non-conventional security threats – people smuggling and trafficking, drug and gun smuggling, piracy and a host of environmental and natural disaster challenges.

Any actions that would have the effect of deepening this security dilemma, such as the proposals recently floated in Washington to base US reconnaissance aircraft on the Cocos Islands and nuclear powered submarines at HMAS Stirling, should be avoided. China would definitely interpret any such moves as an attempt to threaten its ‘soft underbelly’ – its high dependency on Middle East oil – during times of rising tension.

What is needed instead, is a strategy designed to provide for joint action in the ‘commons’ to alleviate the sense of insecurity on the part of the major powers that their legitimate interests in the Indian Ocean might not be met.

Unfortunately, the security building mechanisms in the Indian Ocean are inadequate and show little prospects of improvement. Unlike the Asia Pacific, where four great powers (the US, China, Japan and Russia) to an extent balance each other, India is by far the dominant littoral power in the Indian Ocean. Australia has the next most powerful navy, and it can only aspire to be a middle power.

This means India is able to dominate the security building mechanisms in the Indian Ocean – no India, no viable mechanisms. As with any great power, India will use its influence to ensure its wishes are met. And those wishes have more to do with locking what it fears to be a China-Pakistan combination out than building a regime capable of solving some of the region’s manifest problems so we can all ‘rise on the same tide’.

So Canberra should be working quietly trying to convince New Delhi that the best way to ensure that China doesn’t seek a permanent military presence in the Indian Ocean region would be to work with it to alleviate its concerns through collective action to address the non-conventional and other problems of the region.

This would not be a short-term prospect, however. Australia’s challenge would be to convince Washington of this need, as much as it would be to convince India and China. But we must make a beginning. The Indian Ocean must remain ‘the great connector’, which has been its principal role throughout its long history.

If indeed US forces require reinforcing in the Indian Ocean, then at the very least it will be important to ensure that they are perceived to be, and are in fact, designed to assist the region meet its multifarious non-conventional security challenges. This would in turn require that Washington take a stronger interest in security building mechanisms in the region than it has hitherto.


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