Globalization and the economic
liberalization of world have provided new drivers to reconnect and revive old
linkages as the 21st century provides different opportunities to redefine the
economic future of India. It was realized that in a globalized world some form
of regional integration was required for market access and production beyond
national border to sustain high economic growth rates. This has been also
accompanied by increasing rivalry among major powers. Chinas growing influence
and he renewal of the United State focus on Asia mean more intense strategic
competition for natural resources, strategic transit routes, port facilities and
access to markets in the region.
Global and political realities have influence the strategic importance of India.
India wishes to build and strengthen its global image, commensurate with size,
population and strength of its economy. It believes on democracy, secularism and
peaceful co-existence. These aspirations are challenged by different factors
especially by ethnic conflicts, China’s growing influence in the region and
unstable relations with its neighboring countries. To achieve its great power
ambitions, India sees the Indian Ocean and tries to establish friendly relations
with its neighboring countries to achieve its national interests.
India occupies very important geographical location in the centre of Asian
continent that extended from Tokyo to Head of Indian Ocean. Indian geography and
its dominant place in Indian Ocean help it to play a vital role as a global
player and provide opportunity to other powers to interact with India
bilaterally and mutually due to their strategic and economic interests in the
Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean has huge importance in Indian foreign relations.
It’s situated between the Atlantic and The Pacific. It covers the area of 74
million sq. km, almost 80% of world trade pass through the Indian Ocean.
Importance of Indian Ocean arises with the arrival of 21century. Indian Ocean
helps India to strengthen its economy. The United Nation Convention on the law
of the Sea 1994, 2004 and the maritime doctrine of 2006 helps India to
concentrate on its strategic location. The US naval presence in Indian Ocean
increase day by day and Chinese growing involvement in Indian Ocean make Indian
Ocean the global hub of politics in 21 century.
By: Khoula Bajwa