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“Acting” East with an eye on China
Harsh V. Pant

work with India in ensuring safety of the SLOC and tackle non-traditional security challenges in the Indian Ocean. Both have a vested interest in ensuring that China’s hegemony in the region does not go uncontested. Their location makes them crucial in the emerging maritime calculus in the region as they together control the entry point from the Indian Ocean to the Bay of Bengal in the north and Malacca Straits to the east. Viewing Indian maritime presence as largely benign, Indonesia has openly invited India to help the littoral states in the region in maintaining

in Indian foreign policy
An emerging partnership
Harsh V. Pant

Malacca Straits, and India’s rapid reaction to the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 won accolades from the Pentagon. It is by no means an exaggeration to suggest that the United States would like a strong US–India alliance to act as a “bulwark against the arc of Islamic instability running from the Middle East to Asia and to create much greater balance in Asia.”12 The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) of the United States strongly emphasizes India’s importance for the United States in the emerging global security architecture.13 While a concern with China’s rising

in Indian foreign policy
Colliding ambitions with China
Harsh V. Pant

India might face seaborne attacks by terrorist groups against the nation’s oil rigs, involving both production and support platforms, along both the coasts of India.10 Piracy in various parts of the Indian Ocean such as the Malacca Straits and Horn of Africa is rampant, requiring a strong Indian maritime presence. In line with this perception, the Indian maritime doctrine states: “The Indian maritime vision for the twenty-first century must look at the arc from the Persian Gulf to the Straits of Malacca, as a legitimate area of interest.”11 India has a pivotal

in Indian foreign policy