China’s Expanding Navy Faces an Asian Rival

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Earlier this year we mentioned a naval encounter between China and India that turned out to be fictitious. But a rivalry over the Indian Ocean between the two countries is still very real, as our colleague Howard Chua-Eoan reports:

…the presence of the Chinese and Indian warships underlines Beijing’s and New Delhi’s intense economic and strategic interests in the world’s third largest ocean.

Both countries are hugely dependent on the petroleum deliveries that course through the gulfs of Aden and Hormuz to their ports. Defending those supplies is one reason both are building bigger and bigger navies. China’s navy, with more than 300 ships, may in fact soon surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest. Beijing is certainly sparing little to stock its ships with armaments. India, in the meantime, is acquiring several nuclear powered submarines to augment its 155 military vessels in the ocean that bears its name.