India – China Relationship – Part 3

Indirect conflict 

#String of Pearls Tactics of China

What is String of Pearls Tactics of China ??

It is a theory that possible intention of China in Indian Ocean. Scholars argue that China is encircling India with pearls, that is through establishment of ports or naval bases around India in India Ocean region..It extend from the Chinese mainland to Sudan Port.

Components of String of Pearls

  • Naval base in Djibouti – Africa(first ever naval base of China in abroad )
  • Facility in Gwadar and a port in Karachi (both in Pakistan);
  • Construction of new facility at Colombo and construction of new port Hambantota (both in Sri Lanka);
  • Container facility in Chittagong (Bangladesh); and
  • Ports in Myanmar
  • Maldives : China established its army base in this country 
  • Seychelles: allowed China to set up its naval base just because of some monetary assistance from China

What is India’s response against this tactic ?


  • Increase naval capabilities and naval exercises
  • Port modernisation ( through SAGARMALA Project )


1)Project Mausam : It aims to reconnect and re-establish communication between countries of Indian Ocean Region(IOR)

Project Mausam :

Ministry of Culture project

Implemented by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi

Has two components :

1)Macro level : Aims to re-connect and re-establish communications between countries of the Indian Ocean world(This which would lead to an enhanced understanding of cultural values and concerns)

2)Micro level : Focus is on understanding national cultures in their regional maritime milieu


2)Spice Route : To retrace historical voyages of undertaken by countries for economic engagement..

(Spice route used during flourishing trade of spices and garments from India to similar counries in ancient time)

Indian naval ship, Tarangini ship set sail with a similar Omani ship, Shabab Oman (The two ships sailing together, in celebration of 60 years of diplomatic relations being established between India and Oman will retrace historical voyages of undertaken by dhows and trading vessels between the ports of the two countries.)

3)Cotton Route

4)Chabahar port development 

5)Blue water diplomacy : Engaging with countries along Asia-Pacific (INS Tey to Seichelles and ICG Baraudda )

6)Act East Policy

7)Strategic Diamond Initiative : 

  • The “Asian Security Diamond” strategic concept as spelt out last year envisaged a strategic coalition of Australia, India, Japan and the US State of Hawaii to safeguard the maritime commons extending from the Indian Ocean and extending to the entire Western Pacific.
  • This initiative is a strategic response to China casting menacing maritime shadows over the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.The “Asian Security Diamond” concept is strategically conceived for checkmating the unrestrained rampage of a military aggressive China in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. China seeks full dominance over the entire Western Pacific in terms of maritime navigation and also air flights over the two Seas as evidenced by China’s declaration of ADIZ over the East China Sea
  • This concept was a brainchild of Japan’s PM initially began as “Democratic Security Diamond” implying emphasis on democracies like Japan and Japan’s unequivocal commitment to strategic coalition to enhance democratic engagement in Western Pacific and Indian Ocean Region
  • This initiative is with the realization that  A wide strategic convergence exists in the region for some sort of strategic coalition as opposed to a military alliance, to off-set the Chinese challenge
  • Way forward : “Asian Security Diamond” strategic concept be enlarged by including countries like South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore etc

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