Indian Naval Base in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is strategically vital for India’s defence and security. According to experts, the Indian Naval / military base in Andaman and Nicobar Islands along with the proposed base in Sabang Port in Indonesia and a possible base in Vietnam can choke China at three different points.
It’s not surprising that India maintains one of its newest and best-equipped military bases on the Andaman island. The archipelago is designed to be the main staging post for warships, aircraft, and submarines. This is part of the government’s Act East policy.
And this has enabled greater naval presence in that islands that dominate the strategically important Malacca Strait. This strait is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and is also China’s gateway to the Indian Ocean.
Why Indian Naval / Military Base in the Andaman Islands in Vital?
According to defence experts at EurAsian Times, the Andaman and Nicobar islands are very strategically located. They said about 1,20,000 ships pass through the Indian Ocean every year and nearly 70,000 of them pass through the Malacca Strait. “The proximity of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to Malacca Strait makes them very strategic with regard to monitoring of the area and keeping the chokepoints under surveillance.”
Moreover, (retired) Admiral D.K. Joshi as the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar said that it is a clear sign that the Indian government wants to play a more decisive military role. Most importantly, India is also countering China’s aggressiveness in the Indian Ocean.
According to India Today, more number of Chinese warships and submarines prowled the Indian Ocean in 2017 than ever before. And, on the other hand, the Andaman Nicobar base will form an important logistics base for the Indian Navy’s reach program to countries like Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
The Andaman and Nicobar has become a new maritime frontline in the geopolitical rivalry between India and China. The Navy Chief said Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a very important aspect in a security aspect and acts as the extended arms of the country.
According to experts talking to EurAsian Times, a naval base in the Andaman Islands is not something new, but if combined with Indian presence in Sabang Port in Indonesia and an additional presence in Vietnam, it can stifle China in the Strait of Malacca.
The Strait of Malacca is the lifeline of China, and if India along with regional allies can control the vital shipping lane, China will be left with limited options. China understands that and that is the reason why Beijing is investing billions of dollars in the BRI project, to open land route via Pakistan.
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