Published On: Wed, Aug 26th, 2020

India risks angering China with major military upgrade as tensions in region soar | World | News

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will emulate the construction of island fortifications that Beijing has been building in the South China Sea. India’s tri-service commander said: “The two Island territories will be like the new aircraft carriers for India, extending the navy’s reach in the region far from the mainland. Both the Islands sit on the busiest sea lanes of the world with more than half the world trade going through this route.”

Indian military officials are attempting to forecast China’s next move, and building fortifications for a strategic naval fleet in the island territories could halt Beijing’s ability to leverage the new Thai Canal project for their own expansionist agenda within the Indian Ocean.

The build-up of Indian airfields and defensive positions in the countries island territories will be a strategic defensive position to counter China’s Thai Canal project.

The difference between India and China’s island fortifications is that India is constructing on sovereign territory within the Indian Ocean, but China is building their fortifications on contested islands that have not been recognised as Chinese by the international community.

The build-up of military outposts on the islands will raise India’s military presence in the Indian Ocean.

The Seychelles is one area of the Indian Ocean that will host Indian airforce airstrips.

There will also be a jetty constructed on Assumption Island for use by the Indian navy.

The Seychelles will become highly strategic when China opens up the canal project through the Kra peninsula.

The island chain will lease its land to India so that New Delhi can have increased command of this key global shipping lane.

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“We need to remain nonaligned, friendly to all, enemy to none.”

He added: “This facility on Assumption will place Seychelles at great risk should a military conflict involving India ever happen.

“We are dealing with countries with nuclear powers here.”

The efforts to militarise the Seychelles comes as a response to Beijing’s Thai Canal project also called the Kra Canal, that will be built as part of President Xi Jinping’s massive Belt and Road Initiative project.

The US also holds a strategic military base in the Indian Ocean, on the secretive island of Diego Garcia.

The naval and air facility on Diego Garcia supports three B-2 stealth bombers and is part of the US Pacific Air Forces’ Bomber Task Force.

The US Pacific Air Force’s Bomber Task Force is integral in supporting US efforts in ensuring a free and democratic Taiwan that is currently being threatened by China.

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