The Chinese are using deep-sea diving submersibles to gather intelligence in the Indian Ocean (photo: dpa)

India moves to ‘reclaim’ its ocean after Chinese pressure

China’s greater assertiveness towards its Asian neighbours has spurred India into action. It is taking a wider strategic view and embracing countries bordering the Indian Ocean in defensive alliances as it builds a larger navy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has developed a joint vision with the US and will undertake a wider tour of island states in a move to shore up ‘India’s Ocean'.

A JOINT ‘strategic vision’ document on the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific was one outcome from US President Barack Obama’s state visit to India in January 2015.

The document’s references to the South China Sea and the need for nations to resolve maritime and territorial disputes through ‘peacef...

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 Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
Uncertainty over America’s willingness to continue to play the role of Indian Ocean policeman, the increasingly unsettled condition of the Persian Gulf and the weakening influence of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - the core of Asia’s multilateral structure - also contributed to India’s belief that it needed to become a more active maritime power
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