China’s Maritime Strategy in the Indo-Pacific Region

The United States Indo-Pacific Strategy aims to counter China’s efforts to establish military bases in the region and ensure freedom of navigation. In contrast, China’s ‘Blue Dragon’ Strategy, as outlined by former US diplomat Patrick Mendis, seeks to expand its influence across major bodies of water and land areas, challenging US dominance.

China’s Blue Dragon strategy focuses on the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean, where it has built and militarized artificial islands. This strategy includes assertive territorial claims, notably the controversial “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea, which overlaps with claims from neighboring countries.

Geopolitically, Taiwan and Sri Lanka are key to China’s strategy. Taiwan holds strategic importance for Xi Jinping’s goal of reunification, while Sri Lanka provides a potential naval base in the Indian Ocean. These developments have raised concerns about regional security and freedom of navigation, impacting global trade and fuel prices.

Overall, China’s Blue Dragon Strategy poses challenges to regional stability and highlights the growing competition between major powers in the Indo-Pacific region. As China expands its influence, neighboring countries and the international community face complex geopolitical dynamics that could shape the future of the region.