China and India: the struggle for regional maritime supremacy in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean
Zientek, James B.
Miller, H. Lyman
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The expanding economic and political power of China and India have led each country to extend its naval operations into the other's region of influence in order to safeguard economic/national interests. This expansion has led to suspicion and increased tension between the two countries. The thesis postulates that the continued operational expansion of China and India's naval forces into each other's claimed maritime domain is likely to trigger alliance formations and a naval arms buildup between the two countries which could lead to confrontation and conflict in the near future. This thesis is supported by evidence of active naval modernization programs initiated by China and India as well as the pursuit of security relations with countries in each other's respective regions. Conflicting strategic cultures, a history of antagonistic relations and differences in long-term strategic objectives warn of the possibility of a coming confrontation, which may now have a maritime dimension. The volatility of the situation could have an effect on not only the maritime security climate, but on the security of mainland Asia itself and has implications for future U.S. security policy in the region.
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