CHAPTER power structure and operational capacities perspective, the PLAN

CHAPTER 5 DATA ANALYSIS  “History has taught India two bitter lessons:firstly, that neglect of maritime power can culminate in a cession ofsovereignty, and secondly, that ittakesdecades to revert to being a considerable maritime power after a period ofneglectand decline.”1   Que 1.

            China’sOne Belt One Road initiative is an ambitious geostrategic plan to carve out acombination of continental and maritime influence in Indian Ocean Region. Analysis.       The aim of this question was to arrive ata common consensus on possible Chinese intentions of OBOR. 75.4% of peopleagree China’s hidden intentions in the garb of OBOR. It ought to be evidentthat China sees the twin-dimensional activity as a long haul task to secure itsgeo-strategic domain. It isn’t only an economic activity. It has evident politicaland security implications.

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China’s strategists don’t draw lines isolatingmonetary and security objectives. Each measurement fortifies the other, despitethe fact that the financial aspect will cover the security imperatives.  Que 2.            China’s Navy (PLA Navy) will attain blue water capability by 2049.Analysis.        The aim was to seek the opinion about hypotheticalscenario of ability of PLAN to attain blue water capabilty by 2049 .

Opinionrecd is in agreement. 55% believed that PLAN will be able to do so whereassubstantial portion of 25 % are nuetral. It is analysed that to  completely bolster China’s strategicobjectives the PLAN must have operational abilities in open waters, reachingout to Indian Oceans.From a power structure and operational capacitiesperspective, the PLAN appears to have certain qualities to enable it to wind upplainly a genuine blue-water naval force.

In any case, it needs to redesign theoperational prerequisites for its fleets to build up two unique and contendingmissions primarily to ensure China’s national interests in each fleet’s AOR,and to have the capacity to conduct out-of-area operations. The PLAN may needto build up operational units,dedicated and uniquely designed flotilla to workin the Indian Ocean utilized for power projection. For the PLAN to work outsideof China’s prompt littoral, they need to go through choke points in IOR . Que 3.            India can contain China’sassertiveness in Indian Ocean Region by enhancing the reach capability.  3.   Analysis.

        This question was posed to analysescenario of India’s ability to contain Chinese assertiveness by enhancing itsreach capability and the opinion recd was in concurrence. 64% people agreed tothe statement. India has taken countermeasures to protect itsinterest in Indian Ocean. The Indian Navy  has a stepped up its presence and maintainedround the clock surveillance on India’s vital assets  of interest acrossthe length and breadth of Indian Ocean region .

Indian Navy to enhancepreparing for maritime exercises with other nations .This will allows India toposition itself as a net security provider in the region. India should alsoconduct joint patrolling exercises with it’s maritime neighbors and cooperationwith other major players in the region to counter China’s moves. Que 4.            China’s promulgamation of MaritimeSilk Route (MSR) of OBOR is same as China’s ‘String of Pearls’ Analysis.        Thisstatement was posed to analyse the commonality if any between MSR and String ofPearls policy. 56% of people believe that both of them are one and the samething.  Owingto IOR being lifeline of the world’s trade and economy, it has been gainingincreasing prominence as a potential area for geopolitical rivalry.

Tensionsare rising owing primarily to China’s growing economic foreign policy and  strategic interest in the region. Chinese visionof MSR clearly indicates and clarifies “String of Pearls” signify a strongChinese presence in Indian Ocean and these are in direct conflict with Indianinterests in the region. Chinese investement in the big ports viz Gwadar ,Hambantota , in Bangladesh and Myanmar makes it very clear that they are nowcreating a very organic need for Chinese maritime power in the IOR.

The MSRtherefore is rebranding of military initiative concept of String of Pearls.  Que 5.            China’s initiative of OBOR isfocused on maritime encirclement of India?4.        Analysis.        This statement again painted a futurescenario which OBOR focus on maritime encirclement of India.

The opinionreceived was quite mixed. 42% people believe in it while 25% are neutral and33% does not agree to it.It is evident that there is hidden intentions of Chinain IOR to achieve its strategic aims. The Chineseperspective is that of commercial as well as political interest in the IndianOcean region and they consider themselves to be world super power. But what we’ve got to be focused on is this verysophisticated nature of the Chinese deployment in the Indian Ocean region whichactually combines a maritime military strategy with a very smart geo economicstrategy to encircle India. This means that if India don’t play cards well Chinacould invalidate our objections to Chinese naval power being present in the IOR. Que 6.            India lacks a strategic culture tosecure its national interests in Indian Ocean Region.

 Analysis. This statement was posed to find the opinionabout the existence of strategic culture of India. 55% people endorsed that Indialacks strategic culture in IOR. There are many debates about India’s strategicculture, perhaps because it has not been clearly articulated. I feel that India’sstrategic culture is somewhat disarrayed and not yet considered of strongly, secondly,India does have a grand strategy standard about operational policy in the IOR,which is a component of strategic culture.

 Que 7.            India needs astrategic partner to counter PLAN’s assertiveness in Indian Ocean Region.Analysis.

        Thisstatement was framed to seek the opinion whether Indian needs strategic partnerto counter China or not.  76% peopleagreed to need of strategic partners. India seems to be making counter measures toChinese presence in IOR by  utilisingdiplomatic relations with countries like Japan and United States to increase presence and  bring in confidence. I think India are takingsuch steps at the right time. In 70s we used to talk about IOR as zone of peaceand we were strong supporters of Sri Lanka’s proposal where we didn’t want thesuper powers to be present in Indian Ocean. We want only littorals to be there,and this was of course ideological position .

We were non-aligned ,we were theleaders of the non-aligned movement. There was also a strategic movementbecause we were largest littoral navy since then. So if there is no externalpower we were the strongest navy.

So having been at that stage of Quad navies collaboration India is in dire need of partners but withstrategic autonomy. Que 8.            PLAN’s assertiveness in Indian OceanRegion will force India to enter into strategic partnership with US by 2032.  Analysis.        This question was posed to get an hypothetical idea India entering into the strategic partnerships with US. 56 % agreed to the hypothesis and 26 % remained neutral.It is agreed to the need of strategic partners, And partnership with US is absolutely an option depending on “strategic autonomy” and treatment as “equals”. To understand Indo- US collaboration it is suffice to say that India initially was little reluctant.

India look at strategic autonomy as a very significant factor and the cornerstone of India’s foreign policy. We would never like to be ally of another country. India always retained that right to say NO and now increased collaboration has come up because there is  certain move by the Chinese which to India appear threatening and to counter this there is need to bring in alliance. There is possibility of United States of America to commit  themselves to the Indian Ocean region inspite being already stretched to the Middle East and in the Afghan theatre.

Geopolitically is a prudent move to look for partners for coordinated actions like US in IOR and it is my assessment that the more coordination with the US will have great security preparation in the IOR but real issue is that the US is not involved so much in the maritime geopolitics of the Indian Ocean region than it is in the maritime geopolitics of the South China Sea. So in a sense what we think is an initiative that might draw the US into the Indian Ocean region could be a movement on part of the other partners to draw India into the Pacific which is something that we may not be very comfortable with . .   Que    9.         India need to review its foreign policy to realign long termfriendly relationships with neighbouring and ASEAN countries to attain ‘strategic engagement’ on ‘strategic encirclement ‘ of China Analysis.        Thisstatement was framed to arrive at the adequacy of Indian response to need toreview it foreign policy to contain China . 76 % are in agreement that India needsto review the same. India is a rising power inAsia.

A rising China will not tolerate a rising India as its competitor andwill try to be a hegemon to India’s growth. India needs to craft a foreignpolicy that serves its national security interests ,more pro-active,consistent, and realistic when engaging China. Indiais the net security provider  for asmaller island states being the largest littoral navy in this region for a longtime. There is a kind of capacity building that island states are expectingfrom India .

And Chinese intervention in Indian Ocean owing to its portsdevelopment ,will enable them to provide the same kind of service to the smallisland states as Indian. So we need more stronger Foreign policy with littoralstates and ASEAN countries, naval operational capabilities  to keep the Chinese at bay to deny entry intospace of our sphere of influence. Que    10.       China’s involvement in building infrastructure in the IndianOcean Region littorals is part of China’s economy oriented ‘Going Global’strategy which have major security implications to India .

Analysis.        This question was posed to check the viability of China’s economic strategy garb which has security implications on strategic interests of India. 74 % agreed to the statement. I think the shift of strategy is basically an economic story .As economies have shifted from the west or global north towards eastwards and growing economies like Japan , China, India are the biggest powers which are fueling economics.

So with the economic power also comes that need to  ensure security of SLsOC where most of our trade and energy security lies .It is needed to protect SLsOC which actually comes from dominating the ocean. The biggest factor would have been the rise of China. China is very clear , as indicated by its OBOR and MSR initiatives and creation of base in Djibouti, showing the kind of importance it is putting into the maritime domain. This makes a lot of impact on all the key players in this region. China does not deny utilization of power on issues of safeguard of its strategic objectives into the maritime domain; chances of its future maritime encounter with India and the US on choke points in the IOR may subsequently exist,