India’s maritime security: Important Role of Myanmar

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The Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal are fast becoming new places at which hostility is flaring up in the Sino-Indian strategic maritime competition. Being the conduit between the Western Indian Ocean and South China, the Bay of Bengal enjoys immense geostrategic influence in strategies of Asia’s rising powers. Cultivating Myanmar as a strategic partner serves major objectives in China’s Indian Ocean strategy. China is making inroads into the Bay of Bengal via Myanmar. Xi Jinping visited Myanmar in January 2020. 33 agreements signed during the visit, to boost infrastructure projects in Myanmar. China is trying to alter regional geopolitics in the Bay of Bengal. China is making all efforts to increase its influence in the region. China’s dependence on oil has been increasing by 6.7% each year and the demand is set to increase further, given the trade war with the US. Therefore, the Bay of Bengal will be another possible route for China. One of the main infrastructure projects is named Kyauphyu, the project is intended to cement China’s geostrategic footprint in the Bay of Bengal in the deep sea on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. One of the projects is a railway project to connect the Chinese province of Yunnan to Myanmar’s coastal cities. In the last two years, the People’s Liberation Army Navy entered the Bay of Bengal on several occasions. China will now have an authorized and sanctioned reason to be present in the Bay of Bengal because of Myanmar.

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