China’s Growing Influence in the Indian Ocean Region

By Kathryn Froend

In this Indo-Pacific Analysis Brief, Perth USAsia Centre Research and Program Officer Kathryn Froend explores China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region.

Key Messages:

  • The Indian Ocean is of critical importance to China.
  • China has been strengthening its presence in the region via three pivotal areas:
    • Economic: through regional Belt and Road Initiative projects
    • Diplomatic: through regional organisations
    • Cultural: through cultural organisations such as Confucius Institutes.
  • Australia should pay attention to China’s engagement in the Indian Ocean – any changes in the strategic balance of the region will affect its national interests.

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