Dizzyingly enormous and varied in topography and culture, the Indian Ocean is critical to global trade, security, and geopolitics. As countries jostle for influence in its crowded waterways, how will the new power dynamics play out?
With China’s near-permanent presence in the Indian Ocean likely in this decade, and the growing rivalry with America, India has no choice but to proactively try to shape the future of the Indian Ocean in its favor.
Flanked by the United States’ and China’s radically opposing interests, France has a narrow path to walk.
India now plays a crucial role in the Indo-Pacific region. But how will the country define its approach as the region takes on new geopolitical importance?
The ongoing contention between Mauritius and the UK over the sovereignty of the Diego Garcia presents a difficult challenge for Indian policymakers.
Seen from Paris, Australia’s strategic importance is still predominantly a function of its role in the Pacific Ocean. Its military presence in the Indian Ocean has for a long time been limited to the north-east, with a primary focus on the stability of Southeast Asia and access denial to Australia.
While the traditional powers of the Indian Ocean continue to work together across the maritime domain to maintain a balance of power, the role of islands in shaping a new security architecture is often overlooked.
As countries in the Indo-Pacific continue to deepen maritime collaborations between friends, partners, and allies, the island territories in the region are well-positioned to offer tremendous support and strategic leverage to India and its partners.
While India perceives a growing Chinese presence as competition to its strategic and security role in the Indian Ocean Region, Beijing is determined to stake its claim and emerge as a key player in the region.