India’s ‘Indo-Pacific’ Strategy: Emerging Sino-Indian Maritime Competition

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Abstract

India is rapidly modernising its naval capabilities and expanding its maritime interests in Asia-Pacific region. The recent surge in its maritime domain is associated with two factors: Firstly, the rise of China as an ‘Asian power’ with growing influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR); secondly, India’s aspirations to become a leading player in the IOR while expanding its sway in the Pacific ocean. This paper argues that India’s increased regional engagements and its strategic partnership with the US will strengthen Indian footprints in the Indo-Pacific region which will increase security concerns for China. This paper explores the evolution of Indian strategic thinking over the years on ‘sea power,’ examines the emerging contours of India’s ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy as well as fulfilling its aspirations of becoming a global power, and discusses the implications of ‘India’s Extended Neighbourhood’ policy for China’s economic and strategic interests in East Asia and the South China Sea.

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