India using navy to spread power, influence: Australian think tankApril 6th, 2010 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, April 6 (IANS) India was making “great use” of its navy to spread power and influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), said an Australian think-tank which observed that a new maritime “great game” was emerging there “as strategic competition between India and China becomes evident”.
The report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) said that India was “obsessed” with China’s entry into IOR and was making “great use” of its navy to spread its power and influence.
“A new maritime ‘great game’ is emerging in the IOR, as strategic competition between India and China becomes evident. Each has fears of being contained by the other. In China’s case, because India is supported by Japan and the US. India promotes itself as the dominant power of the region. It’s obsessed by China’s entry into the IOR and is making great use of its navy to spread power and influence,” the ASPI report added.
It went on to say that India was seeking the role of dominant power in the IOR. However, it also displays “considerable insecurity about the presence of other major powers” in the region.
“India sees itself as a ‘threat attractor’, at risk from terrorism, domestic insurgencies, arms trafficking and border disputes with its neighbours.”
The report warned tensions would increase in the region in which more than 40 per cent of the world’s conflicts occurred in 2008, including nine wars and many of the world’s high-intensity conflicts, the New Zealand Herald said in a report.
Australia should maintain strong bilateral relations with leading players in the IOR, especially India and Indonesia and should work closely with India and South Africa to develop a declaration setting out broad principles of ocean management, the ASPI report said.
“The ocean was an increasingly important global trading thoroughfare, especially for energy supplies, and the risk of disputes over maritime sovereignty was magnified by the potential wealth beneath its waters.”
It suggested that Australia and India should have strong mutual interest in enhancing maritime security cooperation in the region.
Though India “seeks to be the dominant power” in the Indian Ocean, bilateral defence and security cooperation agreements should be pursued with the country. But that should not “jeopardise” Australia’s relations with other stakeholder countries in the IOR, the report said.
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Tags: aspi, attractor, australian strategic policy institute, bilateral relations, border disputes, dominant power, energy supplies, global trading, great game, high intensity, indian ocean region, insecurity, intensity conflicts, ior, neighbours, new zealand herald, ocean management, power and influence, strategic policy institute, thoroughfare