With reports that China is considering establishing a naval station in Pakistan, India may once again be concerned about the much-discussed Chinese philosophy of "String of Pearls," which aims to confine both lands and India's maritime footprint in the region. A geopolitical idea about the network of Chinese aims in the region of the Indian Ocean is known as the "String of Pearls" (IOR). Between the Chinese mainland and Port Sudan, it specifically refers to the network of Chinese military and commercial facilities that China has established in nations bordering the Indian Ocean. India's "Look East Policy" has long been viewed as a response to China's "String of Pearls," a policy that has been the subject of heated discussion and debate.
But first, the One Belt One Road (OBOR), a larger version of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), under which China would build a number of land and sea trade lines, is also considered as a part of China's greater military ambition. Chinese military and commercial facilities have already encircled India, and if, as has been claimed, a Chinese navy station is built on Pakistani soil that might be the final link in the chain of pearls around India. Even while China has built comparable military and commercial infrastructure to encircle Japan and other American allies as well, we are talking about China's presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which might cost India money in the event of a conflict with China.
1. Malacca Strait
Nearly 60% of trade, including oil from the Middle Eastern oil sources, passes across the Indian Ocean. And the Strait of Malacca serves as the conduit for 80% of China's oil imports. China must therefore rely on the Strait of Malacca until it establishes alternate routes. China is therefore eager to establish cordial ties with nations that border the Malacca Strait, such as Malaysia and Singapore.
India holds a strategic sway over the Malacca Strait, and in the past, India has threatened to close it when China considered supporting Pakistan during the 1971 War. India practically blocked the Karachi port during the Kargil conflict in 1999 by utilizing its navy to stifle Pakistan's supply lines. In a remote area of Australia called Cocos Keeling Island, China is rumored to have built a naval station close to the Strait of Malacca.
China is present in the port of Kyaukpyu in Myanmar. China now has access to a commercial maritime facility that can double as a military facility during times of conflict thanks to the port located in the Bay of Bengal. China has made significant investments, one of which is a 2400 km gas pipeline that connects Kyaukyu and Kunming.
The Coco Islands are another significant Chinese presence that is near to Indian shorelines. North of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Coco Islands play a crucial strategic role during times of conflict. According to reports, China also has a military outpost there.
China has expanded Chittagong's port, giving them yet another station to employ in the Bay of Bengal's interior. Bangladesh and Myanmar are both significant countries in the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM), sub-project of the OBOR, which China has heavily invested in. China has been pressuring Bangladesh to permit a naval facility close to Chittagong once more.
There is no need to introduce Pakistan-India relations, as China is Pakistan's all-weather partner. Pakistan has thus always served as a tool for China to restrain India. The political experts believe that China will not only support the Pakistan Navy through the Gwadar port but would also launch an offensive using this port in the event of a Sino-Indian conflict, making the Gwadar Port developed by China for the purposes of CPEC just the tip of the iceberg.
And now the Pentagon has released a report suggesting that China may establish a fully functional naval facility in Pakistan, which once more speaks volumes about Chinese goals in the IOR.
6. China's Involvement In The Greater Ior
China has not restricted itself to enticing the nations that surround India, it has also established itself in the Middle East and along the coast of Africa. China is said to have a significant presence on the Indian Ocean's African coast in Sudan and Kenya, and it is currently constructing a military base in Djibouti to fend off the expansion of American influence in the Middle East and IOR.
Here Is How India Intends To Counter China:
In addition to the Look East policy, which aims to strengthen ties with China's Southern-Eastern neighbors including Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Japan, India has also been working to strengthen ties with its neighbors to prevent them from settling into China's lap.
India recently provided Myanmar with grants and credit totaling more than USD 1.75 billion in an effort to counteract Chinese influence in the country.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi (INDIA) visited Bangladesh and met with his counterpart there. These actions are all viewed as crucial to fending off China. It's also conceivable that India and Bangladesh will build deep sea military installations in Sonadia. India struck a deal with Iran and is now building Chabahar Port in Iran as a response to China's Gwadar move.
Chabahar Port is even more important than Gwadar because it is situated at the mouth of the Hormuz strait, where oil trade from the oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates takes place. India has also made significant diplomatic investments in nations around China, such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. In addition, India has longstanding friendships with Russia, South Korea, and Japan.