Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other, By Region > South Asia

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-06-2016   #1
Bill Moore
Council Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,906
Default China's String of Pearls

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.
Bill Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2016   #2
Council Member
davidbfpo's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 10,642


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.
davidbfpo is offline   Reply With Quote


china, india, indian ocean, string of pearls

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
China's Far West provinces (inc. Tibet) CPT Holzbach Central Asia 137 2 Weeks Ago 03:33 AM
China's internal troubles (not the Far West) 燕山剑 Asia-Pacific 67 07-04-2016 12:40 AM
China's Emergence as a Superpower (till 2014) SWJED Global Issues & Threats 806 01-11-2015 09:00 PM

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation