CHAPTER power structure and operational capacities perspective, the PLAN




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 “History has taught India two bitter lessons:
firstly, that neglect of maritime power can culminate in a cession of
sovereignty, and secondly, that it

decades to revert to being a considerable maritime power after a period of

and decline.”1




Que 1.            China’s
One Belt One Road initiative is an ambitious geostrategic plan to carve out a
combination of continental and maritime influence in Indian Ocean Region.

 Analysis.       The aim of this question was to arrive at
a common consensus on possible Chinese intentions of OBOR. 75.4% of people
agree China’s hidden intentions in the garb of OBOR. It ought to be evident
that China sees the twin-dimensional activity as a long haul task to secure its
geo-strategic domain. It isn’t only an economic activity. It has evident political
and security implications. China’s strategists don’t draw lines isolating
monetary and security objectives. Each measurement fortifies the other, despite
the 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 hypothetical
scenario of ability of PLAN to attain blue water capabilty by 2049 . Opinion
recd is in agreement. 55% believed that PLAN will be able to do so whereas
substantial portion of 25 % are nuetral. It is analysed that to  completely bolster China’s strategic
objectives the PLAN must have operational abilities in open waters, reaching
out to Indian Oceans.From a power structure and operational capacities
perspective, the PLAN appears to have certain qualities to enable it to wind up
plainly a genuine blue-water naval force. In any case, it needs to redesign the
operational prerequisites for its fleets to build up two unique and contending
missions 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 need
to build up operational units,dedicated and uniquely designed flotilla to work
in the Indian Ocean utilized for power projection. For the PLAN to work outside
of China’s prompt littoral, they need to go through choke points in IOR .


Que 3.            India can contain China’s
assertiveness in Indian Ocean Region by enhancing the reach capability.



Analysis.        This question was posed to analyse
scenario of India’s ability to contain Chinese assertiveness by enhancing its
reach capability and the opinion recd was in concurrence. 64% people agreed to
the statement. India has taken countermeasures to protect its
interest in Indian Ocean. The Indian Navy  has a stepped up its presence and maintained
round the clock surveillance on India’s 
vital assets  of interest across
the length and breadth of Indian Ocean region . Indian Navy to enhance
preparing for maritime exercises with other nations .This will allows India to
position itself as a net security provider in the region. India should also
conduct joint patrolling exercises with it’s maritime neighbors and cooperation
with other major players in the region to counter China’s moves.


Que 4.            China’s promulgamation of Maritime
Silk Route (MSR) of OBOR is same as China’s ‘String of Pearls’


Analysis.        This
statement was posed to analyse the commonality if any between MSR and String of
Pearls policy. 56% of people believe that both of them are one and the same
thing.  Owing
to IOR being lifeline of the world’s trade and economy, it has been gaining
increasing prominence as a potential area for geopolitical rivalry. Tensions
are rising owing primarily to China’s growing economic foreign policy and  strategic interest in the region. Chinese vision
of MSR clearly indicates and clarifies “String of Pearls” signify a strong
Chinese presence in Indian Ocean and these are in direct conflict with Indian
interests in the region. Chinese investement in the big ports viz Gwadar ,
Hambantota , in Bangladesh and Myanmar makes it very clear that they are now
creating a very organic need for Chinese maritime power in the IOR. The MSR
therefore is rebranding of military initiative concept of String of Pearls.



Que 5.            China’s initiative of OBOR is
focused on maritime encirclement of India?

Analysis.        This statement again painted a future
scenario which OBOR focus on maritime encirclement of India. The opinion
received was quite mixed. 42% people believe in it while 25% are neutral and
33% does not agree to it.It is evident that there is hidden intentions of China
in IOR to achieve its strategic aims. The Chinese
perspective is that of commercial as well as political interest in the Indian
Ocean region and they consider themselves to be world super power. But what we’ve got to be focused on is this very
sophisticated nature of the Chinese deployment in the Indian Ocean region which
actually combines a maritime military strategy with a very smart geo economic
strategy to encircle India. This means that if India don’t play cards well China
could invalidate our objections to 
Chinese naval power being present in the IOR.


Que 6.            India lacks a strategic culture to
secure its national interests in Indian Ocean Region.


Analysis. This statement was posed to find the opinion
about the existence of strategic culture of India. 55% people endorsed that India
lacks strategic culture in IOR. There are many debates about India’s strategic
culture, perhaps because it has not been clearly articulated. I feel that India’s
strategic 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 a
strategic partner to counter PLAN’s assertiveness in Indian Ocean Region.

Analysis.        This
statement was framed to seek the opinion whether Indian needs strategic partner
to counter China or not.  76% people
agreed to need of strategic partners. India seems to be making counter measures to
Chinese presence in IOR by  utilising
diplomatic relations with countries like Japan 
and United States to increase presence and  bring in confidence. I think India are taking
such steps at the right time. In 70s we used to talk about IOR as zone of peace
and we were strong supporters of Sri Lanka’s proposal where we didn’t want the
super 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 the
leaders of the non-aligned movement. There was also a strategic movement
because we were largest littoral navy since then. So if there is no external
power we were the strongest navy. So having been at that stage of Quad navies collaboration India is in dire need of partners but with
strategic autonomy.


Que 8.            PLAN’s assertiveness in Indian Ocean
Region 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 term
friendly relationships with neighbouring and ASEAN countries to attain ‘
strategic engagement’ on ‘strategic encirclement ‘ of China


Analysis.        This
statement was framed to arrive at the adequacy of Indian response to need to
review it foreign policy to contain China . 76 % are in agreement that India needs
to review the same. India is a rising power in
Asia. A rising China will not tolerate a rising India as its competitor and
will try to be a hegemon to India’s growth. India needs to craft a foreign
policy that serves its national security interests ,more pro-active,
consistent, and realistic when engaging China. India
is the net security provider  for a
smaller island states being the largest littoral navy in this region for a long
time. There is a kind of capacity building that island states are expecting
from India . And Chinese intervention in Indian Ocean owing to its ports
development ,will enable them to provide the same kind of service to the small
island states as Indian. So we need more stronger Foreign policy with littoral
states and ASEAN countries, naval operational capabilities  to keep the Chinese at bay to deny entry into
space of our sphere of influence.


Que    10.       China’s involvement in building infrastructure in the Indian
Ocean 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,