indian ocean

Colorful Dragon

B. M. Jain's new book examines China's use of soft power tools to improve relations with countries like Bangladesh and India. 

Prime Minister Modi's visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka might have been prompted to counter China’s growing influence in the region but it turned out to be a major demonstration of India's hard and soft power in the Indian Ocean neighbourhood.

The relationship between India and Maldives has changed much from what it was in the post-independent 1960s. After setting up its harbours in the island nation, now China’s use of soft power is gaining strength. 

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370) is presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, “about as close to nowhere as it’s possible to be, but . . . closer to Australia than anywhere else,” according to Australian prime minister Tony Abbott. In response, Australia’s formidable humanitarian assistance and disaster relief/search and rescue (HADR/SAR) machine has sprung into action.

Mr. Marles, who was accompanied by the Australian High Commissioner to Seychelles, Ms. Sandra Vegting, also announced a donation of 20,000 Australian dollars to develop a multi-purpose indoor sports facility as part of the Australian Sports Diplomacy initiative.

Let’s begin with a quiz. What and where is Gwadar? Few people can answer that today, but some in the know believe that within 20 years, it will become the next Dubai.