Southeast Asia’s naval rivalry

Maritime powers on the rise.

Southeast Asia’s naval rivalry — India and China

By John C.K.Daly

Much has been written recently about both the U.S. military/naval “pivot to Asia” and China’s extensive South China Sea maritime assertions, stirring up territorial claims and counter-claims. But if the possibility of a potential U.S.-China maritime confrontation dominates media coverage, another scenario equally unsettling is rising to the surface — increasingly assertive naval power projections by both China and India. As their dynamic economies vie for regional influence, displays of military and naval power attest to that economic clout.

It is not a situation promoting stability between Asia’s two dominant economies, which in 1962 fought a brief but bitter war in the Himalayas. While China’s territorial disputes with South China Sea neighbors currently attract the most media attention, China contests territorial issues in Kashmir with India and Pakistan, where land is under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas).

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