India to counter China's growing influence in seas

To check China's growing influence in India's neighboring countries and their seas, India has started taking counter steps with focus on modernization of Navy.

While replying to Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary's question in Lok Sabha on what steps India is taking to check the growing influence of China in maritime areas of Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Maldives, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said, 'We are responding. India is taking counter measures along maritime areas.'

Parrikar added that the programme to modernise the Navy was going on 'quite well' as six conventional submarines are being constructed while plans are afoot to make six more.

Under the pretext of commerce and trade, China has been circling India by building ports in India's neighboring countries Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Maldives and Bangladesh. These ports together are called string of pearls.

String of Pearls is a theory regarding potential Chinese intentions in the Indian Ocean region. It is the network of Chinese military and commercial facilities along its sea lines of communication, which extend from the Chinese mainland to Port Sudan.

String of Pearls indicates China's growing geopolitical influence in the region. To increase access to ports and airfields, and to expand its military forces, China has been heavily investing in infrastructure development in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

In September this year, China and Sri Lanka authorized $1.4-billion port city development project, Beijing's latest investment in Sri Lanka and cleared the decks for several infrastructure projects.

China played a major role in the development of Pakistan's nuclear infrastructure. China has been helping Pakistan develop its infrastructure through the building of power plants, roads and communication nodes. Current trade between both countries is at $9 billion, making China the second largest trade partner of Pakistan.

PM Narendra Modi has set his priorities right. He invited heads of SAARC countries at his swearing in ceremony and within months of taking charge, PM visited Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar.

PM Modi understands the danger that China's growing influence in the region may pose in the future; hence, there is increased focus on improving bilateral ties and strengthening India's Defence.

Courtesy Niti Central

 

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