Apps and after: Chinas growing naval muscle will have to be jointly countered – The Times of India Blog

In another strike on Chinese apps, government has banned 118 fresh entities for engaging in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India. In the latest round, the biggest casualty appears to be PUBG, the worlds most lucrative mobile game whose largest subscriber base is in India. At a time when India and China continue to face off at the border in eastern Ladakh, the curb on Chinese apps is both a security imperative preventing data leakages, and a strong message to Beijing that it cant be business as usual.

New Delhis moves could, however, trigger a response from Beijing, not necessarily confined to aggressive moves along the LAC. China has all-round capabilities, and is adept at using an all of national power approach to bully neighbours. It could launch cyberattacks, for which New Delhi should be prepared. Its navy has rapidly expanded to become the largest in the world with 350 warships to the USs 293. As per a Pentagon report, China is actively trying to set up military logistics facilities in countries from Myanmar and Thailand to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and UAE. India could soon find itself surrounded by the Chinese navy.

Countering China at sea is therefore the big challenge next to resisting Beijings designs at the LAC. In this regard, India must immediately ask for regular naval exercises with the Quad grouping and other nations including the UK, France, Vietnam etc to balance China. Additionally, it must strengthen its force projection capabilities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, from where it can exploit Chinas Malacca Dilemma and retain the option to choke Beijings energy supplies in case of war. The high seas are the new grounds of powerplay. India and likeminded nations must coordinate to check China here.

This piece appeared as an editorial opinion in the print edition of The Times of India.

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Apps and after: Chinas growing naval muscle will have to be jointly countered - The Times of India Blog

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