According the reports of several Indian media, India and US are close to an agreement to share their military bases of air, land and see, which is expected to become true in the near future. Therefore, which military bases does US expect India to “share”, so as to contain the moves of China’s military forces in the Indian Ocean region?
Mr. Li Jie, a Chinese military expert, pointed out in an interview with Global Times on March 2nd that Andaman and Nicobar Islands is one of the few Indian bases where US intends to deploy her military forces, as it is of strategic significance to block the strategic passage of Malacca, which China uses to export navy and air force equipment. The navy forces of US and India believe that apart from the submarines, the fleet of China’s aircraft carrier will also grow as an influential power in the Indian Ocean Region, and US military forces of land, air and sea can also be stationed here. Besides, a number of port bases bordering the Indian Ocean, especially a few large ports in the south of India along both eastern and western coasts can be used by US as their military bases. Take Kochi – a port city along the western coast – for example, the city boasts the strongest shipbuilding facilities and port infrastructure, and is fairly close to China’s traffic line on the Indian Ocean. It’s highly likely that Kochi will be used as a military base for US navy force to berth its nuclear-powered aircrafts and nuclear submarines. On the eastern coast of India, US will probably choose Vishakhapatnam to berth its fleets and refill military supplies. In the opinion of US, Vishakhapatnam can act in cooperation with its military forces near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and can contain the growing impact of China in Chittagong of Bangladesh, and in Kyaukpyu Port of Myanmar.
In Li Jie’s opinion, apart from dispatching her military forces in several of India’s military bases, US will also strengthen her navy base on the land of Diego Garcia, which is in the center of the Indian Ocean, and the Djibouti base, so as to strengthen the capacity of blocking the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Besides, US will continue to build the military base in Bahrain, which is used for the Fifth Fleet of US Navy. In addition, US will also try to block the sea lane from the Persian Gulf and the Gwadar Port in Pakistan, so as to prevent China from transporting strategic materials from the Port. Li Jie believes that US will successfully block the Indian Ocean region from all directions if the strategic plans are fully executed: in the east are the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Singapore’s Changi naval base, with which the both ends of the Malacca Strait can be blocked; in the west is the Djibouti base, with which the vital path leading to the Red Sea can be blocked; in the south is the Diego Garcia base, with which the major sea lanes of China South Sea can be controlled; and in the north are Kochi and other military bases, with which US can have a firm grasp of the Indian Ocean.