Tuesday, May 17, 2005

ANALYSIS: India and China - Neither friends nor foes

China is worried about India's growing blue-water naval capabilities and is expanding its own naval presence in the Arabian Sea/Persian Gulf region by financing a major port at Gwadar in Pakistan. China is also increasing its naval presence in the Indian Ocean by cultivating ties with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Although these Chinese moves are significantly motivated by its increasing dependency on sea-borne trade and energy supplies, they raised alarm bells in New Delhi. India views China's moves in these states as Beijing's strategy to contain India in South Asia. Signaling that closer relations with India will not dilute China's close ties with India's neighbors, Wen visited India at the end of his four-nation South Asia tour that included visits to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The two countries are also likely to engage in a competition for influence in Central Asia and Southeast Asia.

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