EASSC Publications


India’s naval presence in the South China Sea: clashes of strategies or a new dawn of cooperation in Southeast Asia?

Date of this Version


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Conference Paper


India’s recent commercial activities into the South China Sea, starting with the 2011 initial Indo-Vietnamese oil cooperation by ONGC Videsh and Petro Vietnam, now in full agreement since September 2014 visit to Vietnam by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, reveals a new phase in India’s “Look East” policy that has already started to reveal a modest naval presence in those waters. Such strategy, in turn, clashes with China’s new assertiveness on her own claims in the South China Sea, mainly in the Paracels but also including other archipelagoes and maritime space. As expected, this maritime region has become an arena where New Delhi and Beijing geopolitical strategies manifest themselves in cooperation agreements, proxy naval skirmishes and a war of words in the media.

This research first intends to evaluate the modes of India’s current deep engagement in maritime East Asia through the strengthening of alliances with key Southeast Asian nations and Japan, a trend that might be viewed as a new dawn of cooperation in Southeast Asia.

Second, to identify how efficient is China’s containing policy against India on her vested interests in the South China Sea. Third, how both countries’ strategies over the South China Sea are independent of their overall bilateral relationship, a crucial step to evaluate both stability in the region and future trends between India and her Eastern maritime neighbors.

Journal, Book or Conference Title

East Asia Security Symposium and Conference 东亚安全座谈谈论会

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