MBA Aspirants are expected to know the happenings around globe which might affect Indian foreign policy, thus impacting all of us.
Read: India needs to manifest balance between China & Japan
China, India and Japan are the world’s second, third and fourth largest economy respectively in terms of GDP. India has long-standing border disputes with China. Moreover even Japan has numerous issues with China, prominent among them being the issue of Senkaku/Diaoyu islands.
One doesn’t choose his or her neighbor. Same applies to India, wherein the country shares a long border with China, that too disputable. Historically, China has been very aggressive in its approach in handling India. It follows the strategy on the lines of ‘String of Pearls’. It is a metaphor for the network of Chinese military and commercial facilities and relationships along its sea lines of communication, which extend from the Chinese mainland to Port Sudan.
The sea lines run through strategic maritime centers in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Somalia. This is the means to encircle India from all sides from geo-political point of view.
It is in response to this that India is developing a new security and strategic architecture metaphorically called ‘Necklace of Diamonds’. Under this India wants to out-circle China by getting into deep strategic partnerships with countries like Japan, South-Korea, countries in south-east Asia with whom China has territorial disputes and Mauritius. It is in this sense that Japan and India becomes key allies to counter the growing influence of China in the region.
Chinese possessions in the Indian Ocean consist primarily of commercial ports owned and operated by Chinese firms, as well as resupply stations operating in agreement with the Chinese central government. The two largest projects consist of a Chinese-financed commercial shipping center in Hambantota, Sri Lanka and a Chinese-controlled deep-water port near the mouth of the Persian Gulf in Gwadar, Pakistan. Both sites have raised the concern of neighboring powers, most significantly India, which fears the possibility of a string of Chinese bases situated just off its coast.
Indian analysts see this as reflective of a wider encirclement strategy on the part of the Chinese. The port at Gwadar, which is connected to the Karakoram Highway linking Western China and the Arabian Sea, is of even greater concern to the Indian government, which views it as powerful evidence of Chinese and Pakistani collusion against Indian security and economic interests.
It is in this light, that India and Japan are developing closer military ties. They have shared interests in maintaining the security of sea-lanes in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean, and in co-operation for fighting international crime, terrorism, piracy and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The two nations have frequently held joint military exercises and have been cooperating on technology.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seen by some to be favorable to India and, with rising tensions in territorial disputes with Japan's neighbors, has advocated closer security cooperation with India.
Therefore, the troika of bi-lateral relationships among India, China and Japan holds significant strategic relevance in Asian geo-politics. India has to tread this path cautiously as the sensitivities involved are of very high order with long term security implications.