​Naval Might

According to a report by TNN, China now has the largest Navy in the world and is aggressively looking to set up logistical bases in the Indo-Pacific region to enhance its strategic reach, while also working assiduously towards at least doubling the number of its nuclear warheads over the next decade.

​Chinese Checkers

This is the latest assessment of China’s expanding military might, ranging from long-range missiles and nuclear submarines to integrated air defence, space and electronic warfare capabilities, by the Pentagon in its detailed report presented to the US Congress on Tuesday.

​Threat To India

India needs to take serious note of the Pentagon report in the backdrop of the expanding Chinese naval footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), which has been further consolidated after Beijing established its first overseas base at Djibouti on the Horn of Africa in August 2017, while also enjoying unfettered access to the Karachi and Gwadar ports in Pakistan.

​Sino-Pak Axis

India also needs to worry about the fast-emerging collusive China-Pakistan threat in the IOR, with Beijing set to supply eight Yuan-class diesel-electric submarines, four Type-054A multi-role stealth frigates and other naval platforms and weapons, as was reported by TOI earlier.

​Malacca Dilemma

For now, India has a huge advantage in the IOR due to the tyranny of logistics faced by China, and can if required exploit its “Malacca Dilemma”. But Indian Navy has a force-level of only one aircraft carrier, 10 destroyers, 14 frigates, 11 corvettes as well as 15 diesel-electric and two nuclear-powered submarines in terms of major combatants at present.