India’s domestic debate over China’s activities in the Indian Ocean
Tuesday April 17, 2018
In his seminar, which was conducted as part of Professor DeYuan Wu’s class from the Institute of International Relations, he focused on the perception of the Indian public and government on Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean. He starts out by saying, that to the Indians, the Indian Ocean is perceived as their property. It is even referred to as the “Indian Backyard”. The fact, that it’s called Indian Ocean might also contribute to the implicitness of this claim. Therefore, Chinese activities in this area are regarded with suspicion; especially the Chinese infrastructure program known String of Pearls, which is attempting improving naval navigation from all the ports surrounding India. As a consequence, India is using hydrographic mapping tools to take notice of any actions taken by Chinese in the Indian Ocean. Despite the cautionary measures they are taking against China, India continues to cooperate with China within an anti-piracy alliance.
However, Professor Pakanati points out, in comparison to other conflicts in the South China Sea, the situation in the Indian Ocean is not of much concern yet in the eyes of the Indian people. He concludes by saying that the daily discussion tends to focus on other issues of the China-India Relation, such as the large trade deficit India holds, or border conflicts like the one in Kashmir in the Northwest of India exacerbating problem of Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean.
Professors Pakanatis’ seminar was the first of a series of seminars with the focus on China-India Relations. Keep an eye out for upcoming events.
Additional upcoming events:
2018/5/10: (12-1:30pm) Second IDAS India Studies Serial Workshops: “US-India Relations Under Trump Administration”
2018/5/17: (1215-1:30pm) Third IDAS India Studies Serial Workshops: “The South China Sea disputes: Convergence and Divergence in Perceptions from ASEAN, Australia, and India”