MoD admits to Chinese threat in Indian Ocean

MoD admits to Chinese threat in Indian Ocean

China continues to extend its footprint in India's immediate neighbourhood using diplomatic and military routes much to the discomfort of New Delhi that wants to hold supremacy in the Indian Ocean region, the Defence Ministry has warned.

“China is extending its lines of access towards the Indian Ocean through Myanmar and Pakistan. Its footprint in India's immediate neighbourhood has been increasing as a result of its proactive diplomacy,” says the Defence Ministry's annual security analysis released on Thursday.

The report comes out two weeks before Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's visit to Japan, which, too, is overhauling security structure in the backdrop of increasing military activities in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region.

Parrikar will be in Tokyo on March 30-31 to take forward the bilateral relations.
The minister's visit comes at a time when Japan is set to introduce a new legislation in Diet for modifying its constitution from national security and military perspective.

While unresolved boundary dispute between India and China remains a key factor in the security calculus, the report red-flags the maritime front where Beijing uses political, military and economic engagement for increasing its footprint in the Indian Ocean region.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week toured three Indian Ocean nations – Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka – and initiated several developmental projects with India's support with the underlying purpose of countering Chinese influence in these islands.

The security analysis did not directly refer to the Islamic State but has ample references to “malevolent non-state actors” in West Asia, disturbing the stability of the region.

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