The "String of Pearls"- China strategy to encircle India

Hello aspirants,

China's intention to enclose Indian territory has always been its very first priority; hence the topic becomes important from SSB point of view and is faced by the candidates in either GD or lecturette. After going through the post, you will have enough content to speak on the topic for three minutes and will be substantial for GD as well.

So let's begin

What is “String of Pearls”?

  • ‘String of Pearls’ refers to a geopolitical theory to the network of Chinese intentions in India Ocean Region (IOR). Precisely, it relates to the system of Chinese military and commercial facilities developed by China in countries falling on the Indian Ocean between the Chinese mainland and Port Sudan in the Horn of Africa.

What ramification will it have on India?

  • Many people in India believe this plan, together with the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) and other parts of China's Belt and Road(OBOR) Initiative under Xi Jinping, is a threat to India's national security.
  • This as such a system would encircle India and threaten its power projection, trade, and potentially territorial integrity.
  • Furthermore, China's support for India's traditional enemy of Pakistan and its Gwadar Port is viewed as a threat, compounded by fears that China may develop an overseas naval military base in Gwadar, which could allow China to conduct expeditionary warfare in the Indian Ocean region(IOR).

Whats China take on this?

  • The Chinese government insists that China's naval strategy is entirely peaceful and is only for the protection of regional trade interests.
  • The Chinese government have both asserted that China would never seek political, military or economic predominance in foreign relations.

What is the geographical location of formation?

  • South China sea- The Chinese naval base on Hainan Island is generally considered the first of the pearls or potential pearls while recently the construction of underwater submarine base was also reported here.
  • Various other ports are also controlled by China in Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar other countries.
  • Indian ocean- The two most significant projects consist of a Chinese-financed commercial shipping centre in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, and a Chinese-controlled deep-water port near the mouth of the Persian Gulf in Gwadar, Pakistan,

How has India countered this?

  • India has also counteracted the encircling done by Chinese army and has set up chamber port in Iran a few kilometres away from Gwadar port of Pakistan.
  • Not only this construction of deepwater ports in Myanmar has also been set up by the Indian navy.
  • India has also invested a lot of diplomatically in countries like Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia – all surrounding China. Besides, India has good old friends in Japan, South Korea and Russia.

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