China’s infrastructure to support growing force, transformed their

China’s Military Transformation6. Doctrinal changes are brought out by Xi Jinping to effectively secure China’s overseas interests, safeguard China’s security interests in the new domain and maintain regional & world dominance. For this the philosophy of military reforms which earlier focus on home territory & projecting to peripheries shifted to “projecting to peripheries & beyond”.7. Modernisation of the PLAN. It is three step modernization plan where in first phase solid foundation is to be laid by 2010.In second phase major progress in capability development has to be made by 2020 and in last phase they should be capable of winning wars under the conditions of ‘Informationalisation’. To this effect China has invested adequately in developing modern naval hardware, additional infrastructure to support growing force, transformed their operational doctrines and tactics in sea. It is therefore imperative to analyse whether PLAN will be able to achieve blue water capability to challenge Indain Navy in IOR by 2049.8. Goals of PLAN modernisation. Primarily it is analysed to address the Taiwan issue militarily if required and asserting or defending China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. In addition it also aims at displacing US influence in Pacific Ocean and asserting China’s status as  major power.9. Blue Water Ambition in IOR. Imperatives for PLAN’s ambition is to secure maritime interests and endeavours , need for growing power to find larger operating space and strive for global presence. All these translates into three key activities to include – traditional role via military, non traditional activities and activities in support of national maritime interests. Activities of PLAN in IOR10. The changed geopolitical scenario emerging from post-cold war has created opportunities for China to play a significant role in Asia, providing an impetus for projecting itself as a major regional power.  PLA Navy has received high priority for power projection.  Consequently, in pursuance of China’s global aims, PLA has re-adjusted its modernization priorities with Navy occupying the front stage.11. In pursuance of its national interest, China has modified the strategy of ‘coastal defence’ to the strategy of ‘oceanic defence’.  The strategy envisages the use of carriers based forces for the operation on high seas.  China has been making occasional forays into the Indian Ocean region, calling on ports in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan.  However, continued presence in the Indian Ocean region would be feasible only if China can arrange for refuelling and provisioning facility for its Navy. 12. The PLA Navy is in the midst of a fundamental change, under the new strategy defined by Admiral Liu Huaqing as ‘preparing for a modern war under hi-tech conditions’.  China has followed an aggressive policy of exporting military hardware to various countries of the world.  Its export of major naval related hardware have been made to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Egypt and North Korea. There is no short-term threat from China . However, the modernisation of Chinese Navy with ‘Blue water’ capabilities, probably by year 2049 AD and its endeavour to acquire naval facilities and establish ‘Intelligence and Surveillance’ systems specially in the Bay of Bengal region could have long term implications on the maritime security environment of India.  15. Military Presence in IOR.(a) Anti piracy escort mission in Gulf of Eden since 2008.(b) Continual submarine deployment in IOR since Dec 2013.(c) AMAN series of maritime exericise hosted by Pakistan.(d) ‘Joint Sea’ exercise series with Russia in Mediterranean and Baltic Sea.(e) Symbolic Exercise in South of Java Island ,Indonesia.(f) Development of Djibouti as a military base.(g) From Jun to Aug 2017 approx 19 ships reported to be present or transiting in IOR. It is substantiated that an average of 10 – 12 ships are present in IOR at any given time.16. Military Co-operation.  China has been exporting major naval related hardware to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka in the immediate neighbourhood and to, Iran, Iraq and Egypt in Middle East.17. The vital significance of the IOR has made China to find a way to upgrade its essence in this region and is probably going to cause more clash between the two rising powers. The advancement of military maritime infrastructure in the Indian Ocean would give China access for conducting operations and develop as a partner in Indian Ocean security architecture. Maritime multilateralism has so far produced positive gains for China and would be the preferred strategy for conduct of its international relations in the future, particularly with the Indian Ocean littorals .        Sea Power  as  Strategic  lnterlocutor.13. Admiral Liu Huaqing ‘Father of the modern Chinese navy’, has vigorously pursued the interest and modernisation of the PLAN and believes in the Gorshkov saying that ‘The Navy has been for many centuries the solitary branch of the armed forces capable of protecting the interests of a country beyond its borders’.  Likewise, as a component of their growing maritime power, China’s interest in Myanmar is also essential as a force multiplier as its bases in this small nation will facilitate logistical support  in China’s endeavors towards controlling the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. Soon the Naval energy of PLAN could be utilized to safeguard Chinese SLsOC in the region or even project power against the Indian territory and Island nations.Construction of Facilities in the Indian Ocean  14. The ability of the PLAN to operate in the Indian Ocean can only augmented by establishment of facilities in the area enabling its warships to re-supply and carry out routine maintenance tasks.15. Myanmar.    Reports have perseveringly demonstrated Chinese help with the development of maritime and electronic facilities in Myanmar. These basically identify with the modernisation of the maritime base on Hyanggyi Island at the long stretch of Bassein River, the development of Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) office on Great Coco Island and the advancement of existing maritime framework at Akyab and Mergui. These bases could be utilized to help Chinese submarine operations in the Indian Ocean. 


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