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Power dynamics in the Indian Ocean

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Global politics will always retain its relevance and global powers are always in a search for a platform to vie. Indian Ocean has become such a platform for the global leadership. Global shift from geo-politics to geo-economics and use of sea lanes for global trade and energy transportation have rendered the importance of ports and seas more discernible.

“Whoever controls the Indian Ocean dominates Asia”__ Alfred Thayer Mahan

The above quote of the American naval strategist depicts the significance of the Indian Ocean very succinctly. Indian Ocean, the world’s third largest ocean and bounded by Africa and the Arabian peninsula, provides critical sea trade routes that connect the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Presence of strategic chokepoints; including the Straits of Hormuz and of Malacca, through which 80 percent of the global oil trade passes; in its realm further increases its significance and makes it the venue for the Next Great Game ,while making it a cynosure in world politics. Furthermore, China’s expandable global influence and India’s rapid economic proliferation have heightened the ocean’s strategic value.

Three major powers ; India, China and USA ; are vying for political clout in the Indian Ocean arena, while viewing the region through their own geostrategic lenses. India with its ” Look East” policy , China with its “Belt and Road Initiative”........

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