International Relations

China Indian Ocean Region Forum

The first “China-Indian Ocean Region Forum” was organised by China’s leading development aid organisation in Kunming, in the southwest of the country.

The China Indian Ocean Region Forum: What Is It?

  • The China International Development Cooperation Agency is in charge of organising it (CIDCA).
  • It is the most recent Indian Ocean region-focused Chinese programme (IOR).
  • Beijing’s growing strategic ambitions in a region where its economic influence has been expanding are highlighted by this.


The CIDCA is a new development assistance organisation in China that is comparable to the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

It aims to-

  • Enhancing the coordination of policies
  • Intensify cooperation for development,
  • Enhance the capacity of relevant countries to reap economic benefits from the sustainable use of marine resources, including fisheries, renewable energy, tourism, and shipping. Increase resilience to shocks and disasters.

Which countries have backed the forum?

  • According to the forum’s organisers, senior officials and high-level representatives from 19 different nations attended.
  • But at least two of those nations—Australia and the Maldives—subsequently issued denials of the assertion, highlighting the fact that they did not take part formally.

Reasons for such a move by China

Three reasons have driven China’s aspirations in the Indian Ocean:

  • Increasing relevance of the Indo-Pacific: Beijing seeks to challenge other big powers, such as India, and establish its hegemony as the Indo-Pacific region becomes the centre of the new global order.
  • Beijing’s dependence on the Indian Ocean for energy security and continued economic growth determines its foreign policy and international clout.
  • Hegemony establishment: China may demonstrate its presence and influence from the China Sea to the Indian Ocean by creating new and alternative institutions with IOR nations, showing its standing as a big power.

How is China perceiving its interests?

  • Political corruption: Through corruption, party funding, and by turning a blind eye to their violations of human rights and democratic flaws, Beijing has established intimate and personal links with the political elites and parties of IOR nations.
  • Friendships with several political parties in Pakistan, goodwill toward the Rajapaksa family in Sri Lanka, and tight ties to Abdulla Yameen of the Maldives are a few instances of this pervasive tendency known as fractionalization.
  • Elite capture: In addition, China has frequently employed this strategy to secure a pro-China stance and win important projects with geoeconomic and strategic implications. This comprises concessions on the Colombo Port City project in Sri Lanka and the Gwadar Port in Pakistan.

Where does India stand?

  • India was the only participant in the forum who did not accept the invitation.
  • China has made its intentions clear to the nations of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • A Chinese military tracking vessel, the Yuan Wang 5, recently paid a visit to Sri Lanka, and New Delhi has been wary of China’s recent moves in the area.
  • Additionally, India views the Indian-Ocean Rim Association (IORA) as a regional platform that has already achieved success.


The new endeavour, in a way, is a reflection of China’s never-ending avarice. It also symbolises China’s aim and ambition to match the US’s reach and outreach and, thus, to be comparable to the US in terms of geo-economics, geo-politics, and geo-strategic mat

And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.