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India’s Central Asia ambitions outfoxed by China and Russia October 16, 2013

Posted by nishankmotwani in : By contributor, Guest authors, India , comments closed

Micha’el Tanchum

Over one year after the announcement of its ‘Connect Central Asia Policy’, New Delhi has been sidelined in four of the five Central Asian Republics. India’s revamped Central Asian initiative is partly directed at counter-balancing Chinese and Pakistani influence in the region. But its attempts to accomplish this goal while maintaining India’s historical insistence on strategic autonomy from Moscow and Washington has done it no favours.

At present, Moscow has essentially shut India out from Kyrgyzstan after sending the first instalments of a new US$1 billion military aid package to the country. This follows the strategic setback that India suffered in 2010 when it lost use of the Tajikistan Ayni airbase to Russia. And in the two larger, energy-rich nations of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, New Delhi has also been sidelined by China’s assertive energy policy.


China refutes Gwadar naval base conjecture June 7, 2011

Posted by southasiamasala in : DeSilva-Ranasinghe, Serge, Future Directions International, India, Pakistan , comments closed

Sergei DeSilva-Ranasinghe

This article first appeared in The Sunday Leader.

The Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar has affirmed that Pakistan is appreciative of China’s willingness to operate Gwadar port.

It is also keen to see that “a naval base is constructed at the site of Gwadar for Pakistan.” Predictably, the remarks attracted international attention. They reinforced existing views among foreign commentators, who believe that China has intentions to build a series of naval bases in the Indian Ocean, which have been referred to as the “string of pearls.” Nonetheless, it should be equally emphasised that any analysis of Gwadar should be seen as a microcosm of China’s wider relations and interests with Pakistan and the region, which often tend to be understated.


Indian Ocean: why not all ‘rise on the same tide’? September 1, 2009

Posted by sandygordon in : Gordon, Sandy, India , comments closed

Sandy Gordon

The launch of India’s indigenously built Arihant (‘destroyer of enemies’) nuclear-powered, missile capable submarine is, perhaps, the first shot in an extended naval competition in the Indian Ocean.  Arihant is part of a nuclear ‘triad’ that is designed to give India a second strike capability against China.  India intends eventually to have several of the class and to arm them with a 3500 km capable nuclear missile based on the Agni (‘fire’) ballistic missile.  But that will be well down the track: it is not even clear if Arihant yet contains a fully-functioning nuclear propulsion system.

The 2005 Indian Maritime Doctrine makes it clear that this part of the ‘triad’ is directed at China.  According to this document, “China has embarked on an ambitious military modernization programme … the [people’s Liberation Army] Navy, which is the only Asian navy with an SLBM capability, is aspiring to operate much further from its coast than hitherto.”  The 2007 version is equally concerned to point a warning finger at China.

Indian Ocean map.jpeg

Indian Ocean maritime zones