China’s military presence in the IOR is likely to grow significantly in coming years, principally driven by the country’s expanding economic interests. But its military presence will also be limited. Achieving predominance in the IOR would be a major undertaking requiring decades of sustained expansion of military capabilities and local security partnerships. Instead, in the short to medium term, China’s military capabilities on land and at sea will principally reflect its imperatives to protect nationals and assets. These capabilities will likely evolve over time to provide options in respect a wider range of contingencies. This chapter of Strategic Asia 2019 explores China’s strategic imperatives in the Indian Ocean region and clues about what China’s capabilities will look like in the future.
Strategic Asia 2019: China's expanding strategic ambitions
The National Bureau of Asian Research
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