Maritime Affairs, January 8, 2018
Prakash Panneerselvam is assistant professor with the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru.
The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) provides a great platform for China and Pakistan to promote regional trade activity. The massive infrastructure project to improve maritime and road connectivity is viewed as being a “game-changer” for Pakistan’s economy. However, the CPEC project at its core is envisaged as the link between China’s ambitious “One Belt and One Road” project and the “Maritime Silk Route” project. There is plausibility in the argument that connectivity projects, naval cooperation and the deepening bilateral relationship with the littorals of the Indian Ocean, particularly Pakistan, would certainly increase China’s maritime influence in the region. In view of the above, the paper will analyse how the China–Pakistan naval cooperation will upset the regional balance and intensify the naval competition between India and China in the Arabian Sea.