The border conflict between India and China is forcing New Delhi to seek an asymmetric response: expanding its naval power as it deepens cooperation with other democracies trying to counter Beijing’s global ambitions.
India is one of the largest navies in the world. It traverses the Indian Ocean and connects China with major oil and gas sources in the Middle East and major markets in Europe. Despite its rapid development, the Chinese Navy’s ability to fight in areas far from the country’s coast is still limited, and it has to contend with the United States in its own backyard.
“On the northern border, the best we can expect is to achieve a deadlock. But at sea, we have an advantage over the Chinese.” The former head of the Indian Navy, Arun Prakash, retired, said. “A maritime force show can send a message to China that you are vulnerable and we may interfere with your transportation and China̵
India is strengthening joint naval exercises with the United States and its allies, while building new ships and establishing a network of coastal surveillance posts, which will allow New Delhi to pay close attention to maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean.
Historically, the Indian military has always focused on the long land border with Pakistan and China. In the past decade, as its foreign trade has grown, and as China has begun to march into smaller South Asian countries, New Delhi has in the past entered India within its sphere of influence, and its leaders have begun to pay more attention to the Indian Ocean .