Volume 1, Issue 1, August 2019
Geo-politics in Indian Ocean and threat to maintenance of Peace in Asia
Author: Nizamuddin Khan, Iftekhar Ahemmed, Mohd Firoz Ahamed
The world’s third largest ocean, Indian Ocean, has been always an important strategic, economic, social and political space for global interaction among world powers. The power and significance of this geographical marine region had been well recognised by Mahan, Mackinder and Spykmen during first half of the 20th century. Colonial era after 15th century was known for Indian Ocean struggles and conflicts among colonisers for controlling the trade and political supremacy. It is a region of several unexploited lands. The sea route is a vital link between the Eastern and the Western part of the world. The region has also tremendous amount of valuable unexploited resources in its beds which attract several littoral countries. The surrounding countries of its rim are of mostly Islamic nations and two giant countries of nuclear power. The increasing influence and intervention of China republic through investment in port development in various countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Djibouti and Maldives has presented a challenge and conflicts in peace-making efforts in the region. Silk marine trade route through this ocean is another game of Chinese effort to increase her influence in Africa, West Asia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South East Asian countries. 80% of the oil trade through the sea route occurs through this ocean. Keeping in view the high level of strategic and peace maintaining significance in the area , the researchers aimed to explore the status of world power interference in disturbing and balancing geo political and economic power equilibrium in Asia especially in Littoral nations. The excess interference of China, an emerging world economy and its impact on socio economic and political stability especially between India and Pakistan are also explored. The level of relevance of containment policy of USA has been also analysed and searched out. Study is based fully on secondary source of data. Study revealed that the presence of China in Indian Ocean in different forms resulted in geo political unrest in the area. Geo political conflict in South China Sea including Malacca striate, political instability in Maldives, Myanmar conflict and recently Indo Pak tension are some new examples of emergence of conflicts in Indian Ocean region. Rim Land geo strategic model of Spykemen is fully relevant and applicable in contemporary world.
Keywords: Indian Ocean, Silk Road, Resource, Power conflicts