The IUP Journal of International Relations
Indo-Pacific and the Emerging Maritime Geopolitics: Contending Sino-Indian Strategic Interests

Article Details
Pub. Date : July, 2018
Product Name : The IUP Journal of India-Lithuania Cultural Interactions
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJIR11807
Author Name : Parvaiz Ahmad Thoker and Hilal Ramzan
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 12



The much chanted 21st century as an Asian century has been largely dependent upon the effective and practical collaboration amongst the two Asian Giants-China and India. However, due to their overlapping strategic interests, the elements of confrontation amongst the two rising giants of Asia are more apparent than those of cooperation. It is in this backdrop that both the powers recurrently act contrary to each other. Accordingly, the vast Indo-Pacific region has become an epicenter of Sino-India maritime rivalry with China's rising influence and India's growing strategic presence in the region. Given China's strategic engagements in India's backyard, New Delhi's geostrategic interests in the Indo-Pacific are at stake. China has enhanced its military and other commercial activities along the sea lines of communication in the IOR mostly to constrain India's strategic maneuvering. As China's "String of Pearls" strategy and the "Maritime Silk Route" initiative have been intended to encircle India and thereby restrict its strategic outreach in the IOR, it is, therefore, obvious for India to boost its collaboration with other major powers, especially with the US to counter the Chinese strategic designs. Through this study, a sincere effort has been made to analyze the evolving maritime geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific region amid Sino-India competition and contention for the acquisition of maritime preponderance. Further, the study also focuses on India's counteractive measures against China's maritime maneuvers and naval tactics.


The world politics has undergone strategic shifts in the post-9/11 era. 9/11 has changed the geostrategic landscape of Asia. While talking about the geostrategic shifts, the maritime security domain has become host to most vital changes. The strategic focus in the maritime arena has witnessed a shift from Pacific-Atlantic to the Pacific-Indian Ocean. A wide array of factors are responsible for this shift and the most significant among which is China's rising clout accompanied by more assertive territorial claims and India's rising economic and strategic posture as well as the mounting significance of the Indian Ocean. These developments have led to the transformation in foreign policies or in other words shift in policy focus of the external powers especially the US towards the region. Consequently, a new concept of 'Indo-Pacific' has emerged in the global politics of the current century.

In the 21st century Asia, the emergence of Indo-Pacific as an area of interdependence and cooperation traversing the Indian and Pacific Oceans and its attendant impact on the world order has captured the policy focus of political leaders of many countries. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the first leader to talk about the vision of a 'broader Asia'. The Indo-Pacific is a complex of sea regions and littorals characterized by diverse cultures, religions, ethnicities, government structures, and economic models.


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