India-China conflict: A move from the Himalayas to the high seas?

Author name: 
David Brewster
Publisher: 
The Interpreter
Year: 
2020
Month: 
July
Abstract: 

A risky naval blockade in the Indian Ocean is touted by some as a way to pressure China’s vital energy routes.

By Dr David Brewster

Last month’s clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh was the most significant conflict between the two countries since 1967. Despite signs of a partial tactical pullback in some places, there is considerable risk of further confrontations and even escalation along the disputed border. Some have been urging the Indian government to respond to China’s moves in the Himalayas by placing pressure on Beijing in the Indian Ocean. What are India’s options and how likely is it to take such actions?

The National Security College, with the support of the Department of Defence, is leading a two-year research project on Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the Indian Ocean. As a part of this project, this paper analyses the role the Indian Ocean may play in broader India-China strategic competition. This paper first appeared on the Lowy Institute’s ‘The Interpreter’ on 10 July 2020.

This publication originally appeared in The Interpreter.

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