The MSRI and the Evolving Naval Balance in the Indian Ocean

  • David Brewster
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Asia-Pacific Political Economy book series (PASTAPPE)


Control over access to the Indian Ocean, whether by land or by sea, is often seen through an intensely strategic lens. The Indian Ocean is a relatively closed strategic space that has been dominated by a succession of extra-regional naval powers—most recently the USA—while land powers such as China have largely been excluded from the region. But China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), involving the construction of new maritime pathways to and across the Indian Ocean, will likely alter the naval balance in the Indian Ocean and, perhaps, the entire strategic nature of the region. This chapter considers how China’s new pathways to the Indian Ocean may fundamentally change China’s political and economic footprint in the region.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Brewster
    • 1
  1. 1.National Security College, Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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