STRING OF PEARLS AND NECKLACE OF DIAMONDS: SINO-INDIAN GEO-STRATEGIC COMPETITION IN THE INDIAN OCEAN
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The Indian Ocean holds immense vitality for its strategic trade routes and choke points. China and India are Asia’s two rising powers, who aim to dominate the Indian Ocean to satisfy their regional and global ambitions. This competitiveness for regional influence has resulted in geo-strategic competition in the Indian Ocean. China, through the strategy of ‘String of Pearls’, has increased its naval footprint by building ports in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. India has similarly responded with an alternative counterbalancing strategy ‘Necklace of Diamonds’ by deepening its relations and partnership with Iran, Oman, Singapore, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and other regional countries. This qualitative exploratory comparative case study finds that: China through its String of Pearls strategy intends to achieve great power status, boost its economy, and address its security concerns, especially those related with the Malacca Dilemma. India, through its Necklace of Diamonds strategy, is trying to counterbalance Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. Moreover, India intends to enhance its political and economic clout – being the rising power of the region.
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