In strategic transformation, India building itself as maritime power: Former US diplomat

NEW YORK: In an emerging strategic transformation, India is now considering itself as maritime power and building up its navy to meet tha...

NEW YORK: In an emerging strategic transformation, India is now considering itself as maritime power and building up its navy to meet that challenge after having thought of itself for a long time as a land power, according to a former senior US diplomat who is a leading expert on South Asia.

India increasingly sees its role across the Indian Ocean as a "net provider of regional security", which is echoed by the US Secretaries of Defence and State when they talk about its role in the region, Alyssa Ayres, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia, said Wednesday.

"There is a transformation of the way the Indian Navy talks about the seas, from using the seas to securing the seas - this whole idea of New Delhi now playing a role in protecting the freedom of navigation as opposed to just the sealanes that the Indian Navy uses," she said.


Ayres, who is now a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of the recently-published "Our Time Has Come: How India is Making Its Place in the World", was speaking at the Asia Society here on "India 2018" a look at the year ahead.

When thinking about the strategic future there is concern about China's activities in East and Southeast Asia, she said.

As a result the US and India share an interest in ensuring that the sealanes remain open.

"India like the US is a vocal advocate of freedom of navigation," she said. "The US and India are both very focused on this issue."

"What you have seen in the last four-five months is an increasing convergence, where (President Donald) Trump's administration has picked up what the Indian, the Japanese and the Australian government talk about, a concept of the Indo-Pacific region," she said.

-Source: News Agency

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Local Glob: In strategic transformation, India building itself as maritime power: Former US diplomat
In strategic transformation, India building itself as maritime power: Former US diplomat
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