DMPQ- China has been actively engaged in expanding its footprint in Indian Ocean. Explain what kind of threat China pose for India in Indian ocean.

China and its engagements in the Indian Ocean Region is set to grow at a rapid pace until the near future. China’s setting up of its base in Djibouti is ideal during peacetime but there is also a significant presence of other militaries such as the US, France, Japan, etc, which shall render the Chinese base highly vulnerable during times of conflict. While China may send its Navy to the Indian Ocean region yet sheer geographical barrier is expected to keep them at a disadvantage. For the Chinese ships to reach the Indian Ocean region they will have to transverse through the straits which are under constant monitoring. Even after entering the waters, these ships would not have a clear supply route to sustain their mission due to the distance between their closest base for resupply.

The aftermath of the Hambantota Port has come as a shocker to many countries in the region. Also, this has sent out a signal to countries regarding the drawbacks of inducing Chinese investments into their countries. As China catches up on clearing out their deficiencies, it is important that India and its other partners to closely monitor the Chinese activities in the region as well as provide a viable alternative to Chinese economic assistance to the developing countries in the Indian Ocean Region. India through its vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) has generated a lot of goodwill among smaller nations. Therefore, in order to tackle the Chinese threat, it’ll require a collective effort from all the countries in the region to ensure security and economic growth. In the future, regional forums like the IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) and IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium) would require to play a critical role to balance the Chinese presence in the region.

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