Tuesday, April 26, 2005

INDIA: Courting New Delhi - Washington and Beijing Compete for Influence

India is also looking to develop the Andaman Sea, without cooperation from China. India is unlikely to move towards cooperation with Beijing on this issue because New Delhi sees building a port at Dawei, Myanmar as a major component to its security strategy for the region. The port will support its Far Eastern Naval Command project at Port Blair, which is aimed at gaining "blue water" status for India's Navy, affording India the ability to launch military operations away from its coast. While there will certainly be sticking points in energy security with China, it is India's relations with its neighboring states that will seriously complicate China's courtship. While China has largely resolved its territorial disputes with its neighbors, India has not. China has already established relationships with the states with which India must now negotiate. The challenge for China will be to remain above the fray in the negotiations, while maintaining a close relationship with both parties. Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar will all have their flashpoints with India in the near future, but it is Pakistan that stands as the greatest threat to China's courtship of New Delhi.

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