China’s rising military might have the US administration concerned.
A recent Defense Department assessment raised uneasiness about China’s growing nuclear and missile abilities; reports of a Chinese hypersonic weapons test added to the country’s military power.
Meanwhile, China has intensified military investigations into Taiwan and increased the number of forces involved in anti-Taiwan activities.
The US government grows more apprehensive in recent weeks that China will back Russia’s incursion of Ukraine with military assistance.
It’s Not All East Asia and East Europe
However, the Indian Ocean, where China’s strength is gradually rising, has received significantly less noticeable.
China has been constructing dozens of modern warships that appear to be heading for the enormous body of water that transports 80 percent of global maritime trade.
Chinese officials have already set the foundation for a military presence in the area, as well as bilateral ties with crucial nations.
China might become the dominant global superpower in the vital area, ranging from the Malacca Strait to the Bab-el-Mandeb Straits within a year.
In the case of a war in Asia, China’s dominance in the Indian Ocean might allow it to coerce US allies militarily, endanger marine shipping, and possibly prevent US troops from transiting the Indian Ocean.
unsustainable on this planet. Russia has more than 6,000 nukes, the US has 5,500, and China has 350. Again, all it takes it 100 and we all die. A No Fly Zone equals War with Russia = Nuclear War = Nuclear Holocaust = No more Life. pic.twitter.com/79hUkj1ziB
— ☭ ☆ Charlie ☆ ☭ (@charliesoo1984) March 16, 2022
Given the current primary emphasis on China, why hasn’t China’s growing Indian Ocean abilities sounded more warning bells in Washington?
One explanation is the United States has focused its attention on East Asia, including the possibility of war in the Taiwan Strait. Another issue is the United States has long considered India to be a counterbalance to China in the Indian Ocean.
Nevertheless, for at least four US presidents, stronger cooperation with India — the world’s largest republic, on an upward financial trajectory, and seemingly perfectly placed to confront China on high seas — has been a golden standard.
US Plans Are Not Working
Yet, despite what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton termed a “strategic gamble” on India a decade earlier, it does not appear to be paying off.
In the Indian Ocean region, India’s military and political influence are waning, allowing Beijing to exert influence.
Many of these issues are the result of India’s unilateral actions. However, the manner the US has handled its relations with India is part of the issue.
Russia releases footage of 7,000mph hypersonic nuke missile that could hit London in five minutes.
The scary part is only Russia & China have hypersonic missiles and no other country has been successful in this project so far.
No defense system is invented yet against it. pic.twitter.com/SqfTLjHoFr
— Dr. Croc🇳🇬🇫🇷🇷🇼🇿🇦 (@MgajiInnocent) March 14, 2022
The connection between India and the United States became a case study of a partnership between the two countries.
Innately aligned geostrategic desires are failing, due to a lack of clear priorities, perverse incentives, and a common inability to comprehend what the other side truly wants.
In the end, it will be New Delhi that must make the most substantial course changes. However, with clearer priorities, rewards, and objectives for what could be one of the most significant security relationships of the 21st century, the United States can help ensure this gamble pays off.
To counter China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean, the United States requires a thorough strategy for the area and a reinvigorated method to its partnership with India.