What is the Necklace of Diamonds strategy?

  • The Necklace of Diamonds strategy is India’s response to China’s String of Pearls strategy, which involves expanding its military network and influence in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. The Necklace of Diamonds strategy involves encircling China by improving India’s naval presence, expanding its military bases, and enhancing its relationships with other nations in the region.

What does it contain?

  • The strategy involves getting access to naval bases in countries that are strategically placed and also developing relationships with other nations in the region.
  • India got access to several strategically located ports, such as the Changi Naval Base in Singapore, Sabang Port in Indonesia, Chabahar Port in Iran and Duqm Port in Oman. It plans to get secure military access to Assumption Island in Seychelles.
  • These ports provide India with direct access to the Indian Ocean and enhance its ability to respond to any potential threats in the region.
  • In addition to naval bases, India is also developing its relationships with other nations in the region. India has signed agreements with Mongolia to develop a bilateral air corridor, with Japan to build the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), and with Vietnam to enhance its military cooperation.
  • India has also made visits to all five Central Asian countries, doubling trade with the region in just four years.

Opportunities:

  • One of the main benefits of the “Necklace of Diamonds” strategy is the increased regional competitiveness of India with China.
  • The Necklace of Diamonds strategy provides India with greater control over important shipping lanes and key ports that are critical to the region’s trade and commerce.
  • By partnering with countries such as Singapore, Iran, Seychelles, Indonesia, and Oman, India is building a network of allies who can help in achieving our interests and goals in the region. This will enhance India’s bargaining power and ability to influence regional developments, further boosting its competitiveness.
  • The ports in Iran, Seychelles, Indonesia, and Oman provide India with access to new trade routes, which can enhance its economic competitiveness.
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Challenges:

  • Most nations have economies that are dependent on China, making it challenging for India to negotiate with them, as no country wants to get into conflict with China.
  • China has a strong military presence in the region, which makes it difficult for India to establish its dominance.
  • India’s “Necklace of Diamonds” strategy involves several countries with differing interests, and it can be difficult to find common ground and ensure the smooth implementation of the strategy. Such an example is the failure of India to secure a military base in Seychelles, while China is considering a military base in the same region in Madagascar.
  • China’s investments in its “string of pearls” exceed the investments made by India in its “necklace of diamonds.”
  • There is a need to prevent delays in providing funding for the projects to build trust. This was observed in Iran, which has decided to proceed with the Chabahar-Zahedan railway line project on its own due to delays in funding from India.

Conclusion:

India’s “Necklace of Diamonds” strategy is a key element of its efforts to increase its regional competitiveness. Through this strategy, India is able to secure critical shipping lanes, enhance its strategic partnerships, and strengthen its presence and influence in the region. While this strategy offers several benefits to India, it also presents several challenges that India must overcome in order to be successful. As the Indian Ocean region continues to play a critical role in global trade and commerce, India’s “Necklace of Diamonds” strategy will play a vital role in shaping the future of the region. India will need to work closely with its regional partners, increase its investments in the strategy, and be prepared to respond to any potential threat posed by China’s actions in the region.

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