On September 11, 2015, Hudson Institute’s South and Central Asia Program held a round table discussion with Hudson senior scholars and Vice Admiral (Retired) Shekhar Sinha. The discussion revolved around Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean region.
Adm Sinha retired as Commander in Chief of the India’s Western Naval Command, and was responsible for maintaining India’s security interests in the Indian Ocean region. Prior to that he served as Chief of the Integrated Defense Staff in Delhi. He contributes on a regular basis to various journals on Indian national and maritime security, as well as defense procurement.
The discussion at Hudson analyzed China’s maritime strategy in South and Southeast Asia, as well as steps the policies being adopted by countries in the region, including India. The ASEAN countries are concerned about China’s aggressive actions. Participants discussed what were some of the steps that countries in the region and beyond could take including sharing maritime intelligence and training. Admiral Sinha cited the 2017 Malabar exercises where Japan will participate with India and the United States as this would be a positive step towards increasing cooperation between the two countries.
Participants also discussed the U.S.'s role in this situation, recommending that they should not withdraw from the region, and back these smaller countries.