Date: March 13, 2015
Indian Ocean India- China String of Pearls
Question- In the light of present visit of PM to three-nation of Indian Ocean discuss importance of Indian Ocean for India's maritime security and strategic relationships especially after China's aggressive policy in Indian Ocean?
Prime minister of India is on three-nation visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka in Indian Ocean region. For India, an increasing reliance on imported oil and natural gas to fulfill demands of its economic expansion alongwith strategic importance of Indian Ocean Region has led the government to view towards the Indian Ocean. India imports around 70 percent of its oil and gas via the Indian Ocean.The Indian Ocean is a source of 65 per cent of strategic raw minerals & 31 per cent of gas resources. It comprises 30 per cent of the world population and is characterised by fast-growing economies and a large consumer market.
China is also a big strategic concern in the Indian Ocean in India’s prespective. China’s growing presence in the region through the policy of 'String of Pearls' also increased India's concerns .
The Indian Ocean Reagon (IOR)-
The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world. Indian ocean occupies approximately 20 percent of the Earth’s sea surface, covering a total area of 73.56 million square miles. It is surrounded to the
North by the Indian subcontinent;
West by the east African coast
North-west by Arabian Peninsula,
East by Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, and Australia,
and to the south by the oceanic margin with the Southern Ocean.
Today, the IOR has risen to the forefront of world geopolitics.Multiple sources of insecurity afflict many of the countries that rim the Indian Ocean. These challenges include simmering conflicts between Persian Gulf states; terrorism in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and Saudi Arabia; insurgency in Yemen and Iraq; state failure, civil war, and famine in Somalia; high-volume trafficking of drugs from Afghanistan via Pakistan and Iran; and piracy and armed robbery at sea.