HOW INDIA IS TRAPPING CHINA WITH ITS MILITARY STRATEGY
India is becoming a growing power, but it is doing so in the shadow of China’s far more remarkable rise. Beijing’s control will almost probably rise, and it has already thrown Asia’s geopolitical balance off.
In this unstable environment, India must choose between six possible strategic options: remaining unaligned, hedging, increasing indigenous military might, forging regional partnerships, aligning with China, or aligning with the United States. Closer connections with the US are arguably India’s best chance to fight China, although efforts to create regional partnerships and develop domestic military capabilities, while insufficient in and of themselves, could be complimentary.
Responses To India’s Potential Policy
- Because China’s power, geographical proximity, and policies already pose an obvious threat to India’s security and global interests, a strategy of nonalignment, hedging, or alignment with China is unlikely to serve India’s interests.
- Because the United States is the only nation that is stronger than China, deeper alignment with the US, along the same policy path that India is already on, represents the most excellent option to handle the challenge of China’s growth. In addition, both New Delhi and Washington are interested in balancing Beijing.
- Efforts to enhance the domestic military force and forge regional relationships are essential and complementary ways for India to resist China. Still, they are insufficient because China is already wealthy and stronger than India or Asian states.
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Necklace Of Diamonds Strategy
India has begun developing the ‘Necklace of Diamonds’ plan in response. This policy, also known as the counter-encirclement strategy, tries to garland China. India extends its naval bases and builds relations with strategically located countries to counter China’s objectives.
India’s former Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh coined the expression “necklace of diamonds” while addressing a think tank in August 2011 about “India’s Regional Strategic Priorities.” “India is doing everything it is obliged to preserve its interests,” he claimed. The Necklace of Diamonds, India’s doctrine, is similar to the String of Pearl’s doctrine. We are tying up naval cooperation with practically all of the leading powers in the Indian Ocean region, just as the Chinese are establishing port infrastructure.” Even though analysts frequently use the phrase “necklace of diamonds” to describe India’s strategic approach to countering China’s expanding influence in the IOR, it has yet to appear in official government discourse.
However, the geopolitical battle between India and China for strategic dominance in the Indo-Pacific area has become increasingly intense. The ‘Act East policy of India and China’s efforts to expand their strategic influence in the IOR have put pressure and impact on their conventional strategic interests. As a result, the Indian Ocean has become a critical crossroads for Indian and Chinese geopolitical interests.
It’s worth noting that, similar to India’s concerns about China’s expanding influence in the IOR, Chinese analysts are apprehensive of India’s growing strategic engagement in China’s neighborhood and India’s capacity to constrain Chinese outreach in the IOR.
It is far too early to make a definitive assessment of India’s or China’s relative success or failure in these new competitive dynamics.
India’s Strategic Bases
- Changi Naval Base, Singapore: Prime Minister Modi concluded a deal with Singapore in 2018. According to the arrangement, the Indian Navy now has direct access to this base. The Indian Navy can use this facility to refuel and rearm its ships while sailing across the South China Sea.
- Sabang Port, Indonesia: India gained military access to Sabang Port, located at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, in 2018. This strait is a well-known choke point around the world. This region transports a significant amount of goods and crude oil to China.
- Duqm Port, Oman: After Sabang Port in Indonesia, India received another military access in 2018. The port of Duqm is located on Oman’s south-eastern coast. The port helps India import crude from the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, the Indian plant is strategically placed between two critical Chinese pearls: Djibouti in Africa and Gwadar in Pakistan.
- Assumption Island, Seychelles: India and Seychelles agreed to build a naval base in this region in 2015. This allows the military to enter India. This station is strategically important to India since China is anxious to expand its foothold in Africa via the maritime silk route.
- Chabahar Port, Iran: Prime Minister Modi inked a deal to construct this port in 2016. The port is a gateway to Afghanistan and a vital economic route to Central Asia.
Challenges To India’s Strategy
- Due to delays in finance from India, Iran has chosen to proceed with the Chabahar-Zahedan railway line project on its own.
- China’s investment in the String of Pearls is more significant than India’s in the Diamond Necklace.
- China’s economy affects almost every country.
- No country wants to engage in a cold war with China right now since China provides vital medicinal products to countries worldwide.
In this era of the epidemic, China’s bullying techniques are on the rise, not just on land but also in international waters. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet conducts FONOPs using its immense aircraft carriers in the Indo-Pacific region to protect freedom of navigation from PLAN pressure. The Pentagon does not want to lose its influence in the area. Therefore, it is spending billions of dollars in the South China Sea region to provide solid military protection to its partners. If needed, India may build a formidable necklace with the US Navy and its allies stretching from Okinawa (Japan) to Al Duqm (Oman) to surround Beijing.
We may state that India has maintained positive relations with all of China’s periphery countries. This will provide India with crucial access, and the pattern can be seen as a diamond necklace encircling China in a counter-encirclement.
Which army is more powerful: India’s or China’s?
China enjoys a statistical advantage over India. According to Global Firepower, it has 21,83,000 active forces and 510,000 reserve troops, while India has 14,44,000 and 21,00,000.
If India and China go to war, who would win?
In the event of a battle with China, Army Chief General MM Naravane said today that India will “come out triumphant.” On the other hand, the Army Chief stated that war should only be used as a “last resort.” In the event of a battle with China, Army Chief General MM Naravane said today that India will “come out victorious.”
Is India able to reduce its reliance on China?
According to an SBI research paper released on Tuesday, India may add USD 20 billion to its GDP if it can cut its reliance on Chinese imports by 50% by utilizing production-linked incentive schemes.
Is India capable of becoming a superpower?
Several factors contribute to this potential, the most important being the country’s demographic patterns and a rapidly rising economy and military. India became the world’s fastest-growing economy in 2015, with a forecasted GDP growth rate of 5%. (mid-year terms).
What is preventing India from achieving superpower status?
India must first enhance its military capabilities and reduce its reliance on natural resources to become a worldwide power in the twenty-first century. Military spending would also require significant fiscal resources (taxes, non-taxed revenue, and domestic revenue).