HYDERABAD: India should be wary of aggressive China which is expanding its naval presence in the Indian Ocean region by building ports and bases for gaining supremacy in the region, Prof Srikanth Kondapally of the Centre for East Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University has observed.
Delivering a keynote address at the inaugural of ‘China in Indian Ocean Region’ conference, a two-day event organised by the Centre for Indian Ocean Studies, Osmania University, he pointed out several reasons as why India should keep a tab on Chinese assertive policies.
As for India, Indian Ocean serves as maritime highway for its 70 per cent of trade and it is expected to rise sharply by 90 per cent in another six years. “Any attempt by China to minimise the India’s control in region would severely impact its economic activity,” he pointed out.
In the wake of possible confrontation between India and China in future, the latter is aggressively expanding its influence in India’s backyard. A case in point: China is investing hugely in Sri Lanka in various sectors including power and ports up to $50 billon, he added.
More importantly, the intention behind building a maritime port in Hambantota(Sri Lanka)is to target Indian Southern Coast besides acquiring Gwadar Port in Pakistan much to chagrin of India, he added. Expressing his misgivings over India’s approval for the BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) a multi-modal corridor mooted by China recently, he said India has to rethink on the issue as it would make North-eastern India vulnerable.
“While it is intended to help the member-countries in improving their trade, however, it would make North-eastern part vulnerable to incursions. Rethink on the issue is needed,” he added.The director of Centre for Indian Ocean Studies(OU) Prof R Sidda Goud and OU registrar Prof K Pratap Reddy also spoke.