China reveals its Grand Strategy for Indian Ocean Region Featured

  • Sunday, Jun 09 2013

In a rare and candid manner China has revealed its strategy for the Indian Ocean Region which details future plans and diplomacy to be adopted by the Chinese leadership to secure the interest of the country.

The first “blue book”, a policy document, on the IOR released on Saturday, emphasised that China would focus on commercial interests instead of military objectives in the region.

The document jointly prepared by the Yunnan University of Finance and Social Sciences Research Centre Documentation Publishing House was divided in four parts with one full part devoted to India’s “Look East Policy”, which is widely being seen in Chinese think tanks as encircle China policy and other part focused on the U.S-India axis of relation in Indian Ocean region. The initial part spelt out China’s Indian Ocean strategy which frankly admitted that Beijing till now was not having any Indian Ocean strategy unlike U.S. and India who were following a well-defined “Look East” policy and the “pivot” or “rebalancing” strategy respectively.

The report suggests to the Chinese leadership to adopt increasingly pro-active role to protect the economic interest of the country in the IOR. In absence of such positioning, China’s development prospects would severely be hit, it says. “With changes in the relations among countries in the Indian Ocean Region and in the international situation, China’s diplomacy should also change,” the blue book recommended adding that with a clear development strategy in the Region for China is not only a sign of self-confidence but a clear demonstration of strategic interests also.

The “blue books” released from time to time are generally regarded the policy documents containing recommendations to the political leadership on various issues. Publisher of the document Social Sciences Academic Press made it clear that it does not represent the official position of the Chinese government and is an attempt to bring more attention to a region which needed adequate focus of the policymakers.

The report said, “No single regional power or world power, including the U.S., Russia, China, Australia, India, can control the Indian Ocean by itself in the future world.” This may lead a fragile balance of power causing tussle among “big powers”, report warned.

The document admitted the rise of China was worrying the littoral states of IOR, particularly India. “The ‘China threat theory’ proposed by Western countries and the illusory ‘string of pearls strategy was being projected as a new assertiveness of Beijing, the report said.



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