View Full Version : China's String of Pearls

05-03-2009, 12:45 PM
Spotted this - new item to me - in The Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6207487.ece

Which reports China is building a commercial port in Sri Lanka, which could become a base for their expanding navy (similar to Gwador, the Pakistani port).

I'd missed this development, although the article indicates others have not.

Strange that the natural harbour, Trincomalee, ex-RN base was not used.

Incidntally the Sri Lankan conflict rarely appears on SWJ.


Bill Moore
03-06-2016, 08:55 PM

China’s ‘String of Pearls’: Naval Rivalry or Entente in the Indian Ocean?

In terms of strategic logic, the string of pearls refers to Beijing’s efforts to negotiate limited seaport access or full-fledged basing rights with strategically located coastal and island states around the Indian Ocean basin, thereby positioning China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) astride sea lanes through which raw materials and finished goods transit. Such an enterprise may, or may not, prove troublesome for India.

As Aneja pointed out, Chinese interlocutors emphasize that the phrase “string of pearls” was coined not by the Chinese, but by an American consultancy. In an August interview with Ajish P. Joy of The Week, China’s ambassador to India, Le Yucheng, likewise maintained that Chinese ventures in South Asia are “not against India and we have no hidden agenda. China does not have the so-called ‘string of pearls’ strategy to contain India.”

Disagreement about China’s intentions notwithstanding, Indians are increasingly conscious that New Delhi can deploy reciprocal strategies. With regard to power politics, Indian Ocean geography is nowhere near as complex as that of East Asia. Yet New Delhi controls one of the key strategic features: the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which lie north to south across the Western approaches to the Strait of Malacca. That makes the archipelago an ideal site for monitoring the comings and goings of PLAN task forces.

Interesting from the aspect of great power competition and ambiguous strategies and intentions.

03-07-2016, 12:10 PM

This theme has appeared several times in recent years here. The irony is that China's only "pearl" is that rather desolate place, with others present; yes, Djibouti. If you search for 'pearls' and go for posts about ten are revealed in different threads.

According to one regional analyst the ostensible vantage point for India, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, is the scene for bitter inter-service rivalry between the air force and navy so to date nothing has been done.

It is noteworthy that the Chinese private investment and now ownership of Gwadar port, in Pakistani Baluchistan, has to date not publicly involved any PLAN visits.

03-30-2017, 08:03 PM
Hat tip to WoTR for this article, which gives an update on the repoirted Chinese 'pearl' in Sri Lanka:https://warontherocks.com/2017/03/sri-lanka-is-not-chinas-pearl-in-the-indian-ocean/

12-07-2017, 07:09 PM
Hat tip to WoTR for this update on the "pearl" @ Hambantota, Sri Lanka:
In short, India is spending $300 million buying an airport to block a Chinese naval base.Link:https://warontherocks.com/2017/12/empty-sri-lankan-airport-shows-india-china-rivalry/

02-19-2018, 03:32 PM
From the FT:
China has been quietly holding talks with Pakistani tribal separatists for more than five years in an effort to protect the $60bn worth of infrastructure projects it is financing as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

One wonders will the locals, let alone the militants, be tempted by work or other options and so enable the road and port to operate? It's almost how it was before.:)

02-19-2018, 03:36 PM
A curious document, from September 2017 from a previously unheard of think tank (German-Pakistani) on the Chine-Pakistan Economic Corridor and somehow I doubt any pearls will be found.
Link to 50 pgs.:http://www.cpecinfo.com/news/the-reality-of-china-pakistan-economic-corridor-(cpec)-facts-vs-fiction/NDg0Mw==

A Tweet pointed at the report as the facts on public opinion were striking.

06-26-2018, 10:30 AM
A long NYT article on how China ended up with an empty port.