The Indian Military is getting anxious about the Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean; that has traditionally been under the Indian Military influence. The Indian government, with its strategic alliances with various countries, has been expanding the Indian military strength across traditionally-Chinese- dominated areas.
In order to take pre-emptive steps to counter the threat that Chinese naval pose to the security of India, the latter has signed a treaty with France under which naval bases of both countries would be open for each other’s warships. 2 years ago, India made a similar treaty with the USA.
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China expanding reach to areas previously under Indian Military influence.
Over the years, China has become more and more active in its attempt to curb India’s strength. Getting into agreements with Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives are some measures in this respect. This treaty with France will give the India military access to all the French ports; especially the one at Djibouti. This is the centre of China’s efforts to take control of the Indian Ocean and also has China’s single overseas military base.
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Is China’s “String of Pearls” challenging the Indian Military?
India has been worried about the Chinese “String of Pearls”. Having a strong hold over Djibouti is strategically important for India, for it provides easy access to important trade routes, oil supply routes and the Gulf of Aden. The relationship between the President of Djibouti, and China are very strong and it is feared that China is planning to expel France, Italy, Japan and the US; who offer a premium bargain for using the said port.
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Chinese navy, through its alliance with Pakistan, has proved to be a nightmare for the Indian military. With Gwadar port in Pakistan, two of India’s most belligerent neighbours pose a joint threat to the nation’s security. As reported in the South China Morning Post
“There are also reports of a Chinese military base planned in nearby Jiwani, and another in Bangladesh. These projects will embed China’s military in India’s backyard, with strategic access to the Bay of Bengal.”
India taking steps to expand the Indian Military Strength
PM Modi’s efforts to finalise terms of agreements with Seychelles and to negotiate the conditions of access to Oman port and airfields have gone a long way to give back power to the Indian military. Another pact was signed with Singapore, allowing deployments using eat other’s naval facilities. To maintain control over Southeast Asia through water, India has re-enforced its military presence at Andaman & Nicobar Islands placed at the end of the Malacca Strait.