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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

India, US need to partner to balance China in Indian Ocean

September 3, 2010

Press Trust of India (PTI)
September 2, 2010

WASHINGTON -- With China increasing its military power and influence
in the strategically crucial Indian Ocean, a noted American expert
has urged the Obama Administration to partner India to balance and
counter Beijing's increasing influence in the region.

As the Indian Ocean is becoming increasingly important to China's
economic and security interests, Dean Cheng of the Heritage
Foundation said that Beijing appears to be pursuing what has been
widely known as a "string of pearls" strategy of cultivating India's
neighbours as friendly states, both to protect its economic and
security interests and to balance a "rising India".

With Chinese influence in the region growing, it is essential that
the US not fall behind in the Indian Ocean, but maintain a steady
presence in the region, both to signal its resolve to stay engaged
and to avoid the difficulties of reentering a region, Cheng wrote.

He said for the foreseeable future, Chinese strategic planners will
need to pay increasing attention to China's Indian Ocean flank.

In the short term, Beijing is concerned about its growing dependence
on the sea lanes of communications for sustaining China's economic growth.

In 2010, for the first time, China imported more than 50 per cent of
its oil consumption. Chinese President Hu Jintao has already raised
the issue of the Malacca Strait.

"There is little question that it is a key choke-point on China's oil
supply routes. Part of China's interest in developing alternative
ports and pipelines, such as in Pakistan and Burma, would seem to be
motivated by a desire to reduce the criticality of the Malacca
Strait," he said.

"Even if China's oil lifeline did not have to transit the Strait of
Malacca, it would nonetheless traverse significant portions of the
Indian Ocean. The growth of the Indian navy means that Chinese
economic development is potentially at the mercy of India, as well as
the United States. The forging of Indian security links with Japan
and the United States is therefore a source of concern," he noted.
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