India’s attention has been drawn to the ongoing joint maritime exercise—Sea Guardian-3—being conducted by the Chinese and Pakistani navies in the northern Arabian Sea. While China’s official stance maintains that the exercise aims to strengthen joint responses to maritime security threats, India remains wary of China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and Arabian Sea (AS).
The growing Chinese naval presence in the IOR and AS has been a cause for concern for India for some time. The docking of Chinese ships and submarines at Karachi, Pakistan, has further heightened India’s apprehensions about China’s intentions in the region.
India’s concerns are not without basis. The Gwadar port, located in Pakistan, is a strategic deep-sea port that forms a crucial part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The port’s proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, through which a significant portion of the world’s oil passes, raises concerns about China’s potential to exert influence over the region’s energy supply.
Moreover, the Gwadar port’s strategic location provides China with an ideal base for intelligence operations and naval power projection in the IOR. This development has not gone unnoticed by India, which views China’s growing presence in the region as a threat to its own security interests.
The ongoing Sea Guardian-3 exercise further reinforces India’s concerns. The exercise, which includes anti-submarine operations and joint maritime patrols, is seen as a demonstration of China’s growing military capabilities in the region.
India has been closely monitoring China’s activities in the IOR and AS, and the recent joint maritime exercise is likely to further strengthen India’s resolve to safeguard its maritime interests in the region. India is expected to continue to enhance its own naval capabilities and bolster its alliances with other regional powers to counter China’s growing influence in the IOR.