The String of Pearls concept informs a general viewpoint about the strategic end of Chinese investments, but it seems to lack the explanatory power to flesh out the dynamics involved to alter the balance of power in the region. To add some heft to the analysis, I utilize Dr. Jeremy Garlick’s concept of geopositional balancing to supplement our understanding of the String of Pearls beyond merely that of another buzzword. This article deepens the knowledge of China’s activities in the Indian Ocean by also utilizing an understudied variant of balancing. I examine China’s engagement with Sri Lanka as a case study.
This article contends that China, through its Belt and Road Initiative, is continuing a long-standing pursuit of its energy security strategy begun in 1993 and a separate maritime strategy. The economic corridors that have resulted will diversify the sources and routes of energy imports, and the initiative’s energy cooperation projects are a continuation of China’s long-term goals. China’s maritime strategy, pursued through the Maritime Silk Road, is designed to achieve the goals of developing naval bases and the blue-water navy and increasing military capabilities and naval activities to protect China’s vital interests.
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