NewsChina and India compete for influence in the Indian Ocean amid border...

    China and India compete for influence in the Indian Ocean amid border disputes: another flashpoint looming?

    In the opinion of analysts, it is possible that the disputes between China and India will take place in the ocean, since the region is crucial for both countries.

    The Chinese and Indian navies are squaring off in the Indian Ocean amid the hostilities that have been raging on the border between the two countries for the past few years.

    in recent weeks Beijing has sent naval surveillance ships to the regionin addition to celebrate its first meeting of Indian Ocean countries, some steps that have been interpreted as attempts to reduce Indian influence. New Delhi, for its part, has implemented a series of countermeasures and has strengthened its capabilities, reports the South China Morning Post.

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    Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh visited the INS Baaz naval base earlier this month. Strategically located on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the base serves to control the Malacca Strait shipping lane, which serves as China’s maritime gateway to western Asia and Africa. According to some reports, the Indian government seeks strengthen maritime connectivity with Indonesia through these islands to strengthen its regional presence.

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    Likewise, New Delhi continues to increase its military capacity. Just three months after commissioning its first domestic aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, India in December ordered a stealthy guided-missile destroyer, INS Mormugao. In addition, its Navy recently took delivery of a Scorpene-class submarine, the INS Vagir, and the Indian Army is expected to take delivery of a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine in the coming weeks.

    What do the experts say?

    In the opinion of analysts, it is possible that the disputes between China and India will take place in the ocean, since the region is crucial for both countries. new delhi performs 95% of your trade volume along its 7,500 kilometers of coastline, while 9 of the top 10 oil suppliers from China also transit the Indian Ocean.

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    “From the Belt and Road Initiative to the Maritime Silk Road, The Indian Ocean is a key arena for China to expand its influencesaid RS Vasan, a retired Indian Navy captain and current director general of the Chennai Center for China Studies.

    The navigation of Chinese ships in those waters also added fuel to the fire and further strained relations between the two countries. In this context, the head of the Indian Navy, Admiral R Harikumar, stated in early December that “many” Chinese ships were operating in the Indian Ocean. For his part, Vice Admiral MA Hamphioli, head of the Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command, added that “intrusions” by Chinese ships “were not uncommon”.

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    Likewise, Vasan points out that Beijing’s initiative to hold the Forum on Cooperation for Development between China and the Indian Ocean Region “has to do with showing its presence and saying that it could be an extra-regional player but that, nevertheless, it is an interested party”.

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    “This reminded me some time ago of certain Chinese commentators who argued that The Indian Ocean is not the ‘Ocean of India’ and that India should not act as a director of the [region del oceano Indico]said Collin Koh Swee Lean, a research fellow at the Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

    To counter China’s actions, experts point out that there is the possibility of the Indian Navy deploying additional maritime forces in the eastern Indian Ocean to strengthen its operations in Southeast Asia. “India is more interested in continuing to be the gatekeeper and provider of network security in the Indian Ocean region, which China cannot do due to its geography,” Vasan said, adding that Beijing “cannot surprise India.” India in the Indian Ocean”.

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    Source: RT

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