China and India could both become maritime powers if they manage to reconcile competing interests, a strategic analyst has said in a rare piece on the two countries working together to shape strategic security in their regions.
Titled, “India, China can rule waves together,” the article said that it was natural that both countries will have similar, even overlapping maritime interests.
"However, does it mean that China and India are destined to be rivals? How should the two countries reconcile competing maritime interests? These questions are very important for both sides,” Wang Xinlong from the College of Politics and Public Administration at Tianjin Normal University said in his piece in the state-run Global Times newspaper.
Wang said: “As global political forces are undergoing realignment, the future of the Sino-India relationship will affect the entire international pattern.”
“There are contradictions in China and India's maritime strategies. However, these can be solved by peaceful communications,” Wang said.
Beijing has had strong reservations about India's active role in the South China sea region. New Delhi at the same time has been long concerned about China building ports for India’s neighbours like Pakistan and China; New Delhi interprets this as China's attempt to surround India in the Indian Ocean region.
Wang said: “China and India are both major powers in the region and their relationship can shape the security environment in the whole Indo-Pacific region. Both sides will continue to pay increasing attention to each other in maritime realm and have more interactions at sea in future.”
“As global political forces are undergoing realignment, the future of the Sino-India relationship will affect the entire international pattern,” Wang said.
There’s been an increase in interaction among defence including navy personnel between the two countries. In June, four Indian navy warships docked at the Shanghai port. During the visit, personnel from navies participated in basic maritime exercises.