Five hundred years before the ‘string of pearls’ or strategic naval bases surfaced as part of China’s global dominance plan, Imperial Portugal was a naval power which tried to impose its hegemony over vast swathes of the Indian Ocean. What informed this grand vision of a 16th-century Portuguese seaborne empire?
China is rapidly expanding its influence in the Indian Ocean Region, as its massive investment in ports starts to materialise. From smaller investments of $78 million in Djibouti to large ones like $1.6 billion in Gwadar, these are funded largely by Chinese state-owned enterprises. This infographic shows the 17 ports being built by China, which are now important strategic, economic and political outposts for the country.
The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) presents a unique opportunity to develop a Blue Economy, with security, sustainability and business profitability as its three pillars. An IOR Defence Ministers' Conclave held on 4 February provided a platform to discuss regional cooperation, linking development with defence, and emphasized India's pivotal position within the IOR.
The Quad is set to launch a satellite-based maritime security initiative to monitor illegal fishing by the Chinese maritime militia. This is long overdue. China’s ‘little blue men’ are recruited from its fishing communities but are in fact official members of a well networked and controlled defense force engaged in regional grey zone warfare.
The emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution depends on the availability of rare- earth minerals, which occur extensively on the ocean floor of the Indo-Pacific. The technology to exploit this is available only to some countries currently: the global agreement on this must be fair and safeguard India’s future interests, says the author of this blog
China has expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean Region. President Xi Jinping has abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s conciliatory posture for an aggressive, money-fuelled search for super power status
India must deepen its involvement with countries of the Indian Ocean Region on issues of security, commerce, and connectivity: this was the upshot of the second Indian Ocean Conference, held by the India Foundation in Colombo two weeks ago
The new global emphasis on the Blue Economy is attracting the interest of governments, development agencies, and more recently, social impact investors. A marked change from previous years is the increased participation of developing and coastal economies, which are its very beneficiaries
India’s global economic engagement, especially with the developing world, has increased in the last two decades, but trade with South Asia has remained low. It holds the potential for building greater productivity and more inclusive growth in India and the region
The two decade-old Indian Ocean Rim Association holds its first ever summit next week. Maritime safety and security in the region is a paramount concern as also enhanced trade, but will the Blue Economy be included as a priority? Another area of concern is devising modalities for cooperation with dialogue partners, such as the United States, China and Japan