India should establish forward bases to advise armies of neighbouring nations, build special forces and enhance joint maritime patrols with the US in the Indian Ocean to meet security challenges, a US-based think tank has recommended after the Doklam crisis with China.
India & China
- India and China were locked in a 73-day stand-off in Doklam, a tri-junction between the Sino-India and Bhutanese border near Sikkim, from June 16 this year after Indian Army personnel stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the area.
- The think tank said while China and India have substantial economic ties and common interests, particularly as both are members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) organisations and G20 nations, nonetheless, legal territorial issues will continue to spur Indian skepticism about Chinese intentions.
- China s push for naval modernisation over the last decade has widened the gap in the capability of both militaries, and India needs to overcome its deficits by developing a long-term plan to enhance its naval capacity
- In a series of recommendations, the report authored by Bharath Gopalaswamy and Robert A Manning, says that there was a distinction between counterbalancing and containment.
- It recommended that India and the US should enhance joint maritime patrols in the Indian Ocean.
- Both nations should seek to assert their presence in the international sea lanes where China is expanding its reach, it said noting that this would help the US and India collectively balance the Chinese military ascent in the Indian Ocean.
- United States and India must boost bilateral security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. India should also seek assistance from Japan and the United States in developing its indigenous shipbuilding capabilities and should consider permitting Australia to join the Malabar exercises to resurrect the initial Quadrilateral grouping, the report said