The oceans are churning. India’s overall maritime security environment is in the midst of momentous strategic change. New Delhi must deploy a smart mix of deterrence and diplomacy if it is to advance and protect its interests, balancing peace with national fulfilment, in this Indo-Pacific age.
This is the message of Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific by C. Raja Mohan, and it is one that policy elites would do well to heed.
Not only policymakers. This book is as much about China’s historic turn to the sea and America’s challenge in maintaining stability as it is about the maritime challenge for a rising India. For it will be the complex ballet among the strategic and economic interests of these three powers that determines, above all else, if the so-called Asian Century will be dominated by coexistence and cooperation, or by competition and conflict.
And the choreography of this geopolitical interplay will depend on the quality of leadership and decision-making in Beijing, New Delhi and...