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China and India: Comparisons of Naval Strategies and Future Competition

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Abstract

Following the rise of China, the rise of India has also become the focus of global attention. The US National Intelligence Council (NIC) has concluded that the emergence of China and India as new players on the global stage, similar to a united Germany in the nineteenth century and a powerful United States in the early twentieth century, will transform the geopolitical landscape. Alongside their economic achievement, transformation of their foreign strategies is also important for observing the possible impact of China and India on each other and on the rest of world, especially on the emerging maritime security environment. In this paper we first describe why maritime strategy is crucial to the two countries and then explain what they stress in their new policies. After analyzing two arenas with potential conflict in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, we conclude that, even though China is under focus at present, India is also an important naval power that China cannot afford to ignore in its plans to develop a blue-water navy and become a real global player.

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... Modern China has witnessed successful economic reforms since the 1980s which enhanced its clout and switched the country's strategic ambitions from time immemorial to craft its existence to the current targets of safeguarding steady financial growth. The change demarcates an essential shift for China, changing from a closed country to a developing one that has irretrievably incorporated it into the globalized world (Tsai, 2015). In the mid-1980s Beijing began to reorient its military strategy from the mainland and coastal defense to an outward power jutting capacity by sea power modernization to build a blue-water navy. ...
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Introduction 1. Asia: Global Water Crisis Hub 2. Murky Hydropolitics 3. The Tibetan Plateau: The World's Most Unique Water Repository 4. Exploiting the Riparian Advantage: A Key Test Case 5. Managing Intrastate Water Conflicts 6. Mitigating Intercountry Water Disputes or Discord 7. Asia's Challenge: Forestalling Bloodletting over Water AppendixesA: Interstate Freshwater Agreements in Asia since the Start of the Decolonization ProcessB: Web Links to Key Asian Water Treaties Notes About the Author Index
One of the key milestones in world history has been the rise to prominence of new and influential states in world affairs. The recent trajectories of China and India suggest strongly that these states will play a more powerful role in the world in the coming decades. One recent analysis, for example, judges that "the likely emergence of China and India . . . as new global players--similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th century--will transform the geopolitical landscape, with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the two previous centuries. India's rise, of course, has been heralded before--perhaps prematurely. However, its ascent now seems assured in light of changes in India's economic and political mind-set, especially the advent of better economic policies and a diplomacy emphasizing realism. More fundamentally, India's continued economic rise also is favored by the scale and intensity of globalization in the contemporary world. India also is no longer geopolitically contained in South Asia, as it was in the Cold War, when its alignment with the Soviet Union caused the United States and China, with the help of Pakistan, to contain India. Finally, the sea change in Indian-U.S. relations, especially since 9/11, has made it easier for India to enter into close political and security cooperation with America's friends and allies in the Asia-Pacific.
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“Summer Pulse 1904,” an exercise designed to test the ability of the U.S. Navy to operate in multiple theaters simultaneously, excited lively commentary among China's official press. In many cases this commentary drew on the writings of an American naval theorist, Alfred Thayer Mahan. Mahan's writings on sea power and geopolitics spurred the United States to build up its navy at the turn of the 19 century and to seek out a share of the Asia trade. This essay examines how Mahan is shaping Beijing's geopolitical calculations today and, in particular, its maritime aspirations. Alarmed at the prospect of de jure Taiwanese independence, China is developing the military and naval forces necessary to keep U.S. naval forces at a distance while it prosecutes a Taiwan contingency. Western observers must not dismiss China's bid for Mahanian supremacy in the Taiwan Strait and other East Asian waters.
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