India offers to protect China oil shipments


Regular Member
Feb 18, 2010
Country flag
By James Lamont in New Delhi and Geoff Dyer in Beijing

Published: February 17 2010 22:43 | Last updated: February 17 2010 22:43

New Delhi on Wednesday offered Beijing the protection of the Indian navy to help it to secure shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean that are crucial for the energy needs of its fast-growing economy.

Pallam Raju, India’s minister of state for defence, said India was “happy” to assist China to keep open vital sea lanes between the Middle East and Asia in order to guard against piracy or conflict.

The minister said New Delhi “understands that [China] needed to protect its oil interests” – in explanation of an increasing Chinese presence across the Indian Ocean and its naval expansion. “It’s about oil,” he said.

Mr Raju’s appeal for collaboration contrasts starkly with deep-seated anxieties expressed by Indian naval officers and policymakers about the encroachment by China in the Indian Ocean.

They view port-building activities in Gwadar in Pakistan and Hambantota in Sri Lanka and the construction of a special economic zone in Mauritius with suspicion. Built for commercial use, they say the facilities can, nevertheless, easily be turned over as anchorages for warships.

Yet military analysts believe China is a long way from having a worldwide network of military bases.

The potential discussions with India coincide with a debate in China in academic and military circles about establishing overseas military facilities.

China has long eschewed a strategy of building overseas bases which it believed would be expensive and diplomatically risky, especially given its stated goal of non-interference in other countries’ affairs.

But as a result of its participation in anti-piracy naval operations off the coast of Somalia last year, there has been discussion of need to improve support and supply arrangements in strategic locations for Chinese ships, notably in the South China Sea and in the Indian Ocean.

Several members of the Chinese military have written newspaper articles calling for new “support facilities” for the Chinese navy to be established.

India announced this week that it is to deploy two more mountain divisions – about 30,000 troops – in its north-eastern region, which borders China. That is seen as a response to Beijing’s greater assertiveness in a territorial dispute about the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Mr Raju told the Financial Times that New Delhi was prepared to collaborate with Beijing to guarantee safe passage of supplies. He said China and India had similar interests to secure trade, particularly in regard to energy and resources.

Both China and India have sent warships as part of an international mission to fight piracy off the coast of east Africa.

Some senior Indian policy advisers are less sanguine. MK Rasgotra, a former foreign secretary and an adviser to prime minister Manmohan Singh, said China was trying to copy the US and UK in having offshore naval bases far from its own coast. But he described the strategy as belonging to a “bygone era”. A Chinese bid to gain a foothold in the Maldives had been recently thwarted, he said.

Mr Raju said New Delhi was more concerned about China’s role in Pakistan than its infrastructure development in South Asia, loosely termed as the “string of pearls” strategy intended to contain India. He said China, a major arms supplier to Pakistan, needed to play a greater role in bringing stability to the nuclear-armed country wracked with a Taliban insurgency.

no smoking

Senior Member
Aug 14, 2009
Country flag
I will just regard this as another rubbish.

First, China is not the only country suffering from the rob of piracy. Japan, South Korea, too. So this protection should be offered to every country in related not just china. On the other hand, as a country which regards india ocean as its own backyard, isn't its responsibility to protect the saft of boat traveling in the area? The problem is that neither USNF or INF has the ability to eliminate the piracy. That is why these countries have to send their own fleet. So, this offer from india is worthless.

Second, I am just surprised to see until today "string of pearls" is still seen as strategy to contain india. How can it work? Without a powerful support of fleet, these "pearls" are just some easy tragets in a military conflict.Does chinese navy have ability to challenge indian navy's position in india ocean in next 20 years? I doubt that!


Senior Member
Jan 17, 2010
I am just surprised to see until today "string of pearls" is still seen as strategy to contain india. How can it work?
u didn't get their real point. India simply fancies that 'menace' as a leverage for more military funding! in that sense it does work


House keeper
Senior Member
Feb 16, 2009
Country flag
Prajapathi post the link to the oringinal Article or else this thread will be deleted tomorrow.


Super Mod
Mar 24, 2009
Country flag
Horse puckey this. No way is this happening. I don't think india will ever think of offering them this deal and china would never accept. Its full of fallacies.


Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009
Senior Member
Jun 8, 2009
China hails India’s help to secure its sea lanes

A Communist Party-backed newspaper in Beijing has guardedly praised India’s reported willingness to help China secure its shipping routes in the Indian Ocean.

In an editorial published on Monday, the Global Times said Beijing hoped that Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju meant what he was recently quoted saying about assisting China to safeguard sea lanes. “More important will be whether or not India’s words turn into action,’’ the editorial said. “It will take time for India’s true intentions to become clear.”

The editorial maintained a mildly lecturing tone and said that scpeticism over India’s military build-up, especially in the northeast, is not groundless. Last year, the Chinese media had circulated views accusing India of a desire for ‘hegemony’. Monday’s editorial also referred to India seeking ‘dominance’.

“India needs to make clearer its military intentions to ease the nerves of its neighbours. A promise of protecting the public good in the region is a good start,’’ it said. “Worry about China competing for dominance of the Indian Ocean runs deep inside India. Such worries are unnecessary.”

The editorial was published on a day when the Chinese media quoted analysts suggesting that US defence deals with East Asian nations are targeted at strategically encircling China with US-made anti-missile systems. The China Daily quoted an article by an Air Force Colonel saying a crescent-shaped ring encircles China.



New Member
Jan 13, 2010
China doesn't care that india offers to protect china oil shipments whether or not, it just wants to stay in indian ocean.

Latest Replies

Global Defence

New threads