India’s foray to South China Sea root cause of tensions

China’s political assertion in the Indian Ocean, especially Sri Lanka and Maldives, is a response to India’s moves in the South China Sea, a post on a Chinese website say

A blogpost on Xilu.com, which focuses on Chinese military affairs, claims that China has delivered “hard blows to India,” citing Beijing’s recent agreements with Colombo and Male.

“India has always been opposing China and creating problems from the China-India border to the South China Sea. We can see India has been busy,” says the blog.

The post, authored by the website’s contributor Zhan Hao, adds:“Without being quite obvious, China gave very hard blows that has caught India off-guard. The Indian backyard has been catching fire.”

Citing foreign media reports, it highlighted that China and Maldives have signed “ocean area cooperation papers” in Beijing on December 7.

The report was referring to the visit of Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to China earlier this month.

The South China Morning Post had earlier reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping told Mr. Yameen that a free-trade agreement and memorandum of understanding on the maritime plan would inject “new energy” into the deepening ties between the two countries.

“This reflects that China is showing more interest in the South Asia area,” the blog says. It cited unnamed “relevant experts” as saying that “it is not the deeper China-Maldives economic cooperation that India worries about, but China’s greater political and security influences in South Asia. Of course, it is just the beginning of India’s nightmare in the area.”

The post said India received a “harder blow” on December 9, when Sri Lanka transferred the operations of Hambantota port to China on a lease for 99 years.

“Because of the geographical advantage of this port – it is called the heart of the Indian Ocean – India is extremely worried that in the future, China will use this port as a naval base. Of course, China denies it but 99 years of lease is giving people a lot of imagination.”

The write-up asserts that India has been warned that it should “care about its own business”. It specifically referred to the tri-service drill that India had undertaken on November 23 in the Malacca straits that “severely influenced our (China’s) strategic safety”.

The Malacca straits, linking the India and Pacific oceans is one of the world’s busiest trade arteries, and is a lifeline for China’s energy security. India had conducted a major military exercise in the Andaman and Nicobar Island archipelago between November 20-24.

“Moreover (the) so called US-Japan-India-Australia group kept interfering in the South China Sea, trying to be the mediator and trying to recruit the neighbouring countries to block China,” the posting observed.

It claimed that while the naval drill was going on, India bought 100 military use cranes to build a road “in the conflicted area between China and India and severely damaged our borders peace and stability”.

“You can see that India’s recent moves have severely touched our bottom line” it observed. “And because (it) does not give up on confronting us, it should take extra care about the area surrounding India.”

According to the blog, the “string of pearls theory” – of China encircling India in the Indian Ocean – is “not unreasonable”.

“Pakistan has conflicts with India. We established military base in Djibouti. Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are now being close to China.”

“India should see clearly the trend and stop pushing itself to a cliff.”

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