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India’s Theatre Expansion: Use of Sea-Power to Balance China’s Rise




Abstract


There are geopolitical, strategic and historical reasons for a competitive and adversarial relationship between China and India. The border dispute is both a symptom and a trigger of this adversarial relationship. While border defences and the use of land and air power along the Himalayan frontiers is essential given the nature of the dispute, they are insufficient to deter China from using military provocations to unsettle India's foreign policy and limit it to a sub-continental power. This paper argues that sea power affords India the best way of managing China in the Indo-Pacific region. The development and demonstration of maritime power, particularly in the Indian Ocean and to the east of the Malacca Straits allow India a range of options in explicit and implicit strategic negotiations with Beijing.


Keywords: Sino-Indian Border Dispute, Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific, People's Liberation Army (Navy), Line of Actual Control



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