I have said many times that during the Cold War the Soviets and the Indians were very strong allies, and they were cooperation both against the China-Pakistan axis, and the American-Saudi-Pakistani axis. During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 80s, the Russians and the Indians were cooperating against the Americans, the Chinese, the Arabs and the Pakistanis, even though the Soviets and the Chinese were cooperating against the Americans in the Korean War (50s) and Vietnam War (60s and 70s).
Anyway, the point is that the relations between the Soviets and the Chinese were very problematic, and the relations between the Indians and the Pakistanis were even worse, and that was strengthening the alliance between India and Russia. But now Russia and China are allies, and that has opened the road for the Indian-US alliance. Now the Americans are helping the Indians to construct modern aircraft carriers, in order to become a naval superpower, as you can read at the following Reuters article, titled “U.S. says making progress in aircraft carrier collaboration with India”, February 2016. China has planned the construction of many aircraft carriers for the next 15 years, and India will have to follow if she wants to remain competitive.
With the 46 billion dollars China-Pakistan economic corridor that is promoted by China, and the new Chinese naval bases at the Pakistani port of Gwadar, the Chinese will encircle India. The new Chinese aircraft carriers will only make things worse for India. The construction of the new aircraft carriers with the help of the US, together with India’s defense cooperation with Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, Japan and South Korea, will help the Indians to remain competitive, especially in the South China Sea. The South China Sea is the biggest problem, because China claims almost the whole of it due to historical reasons, and tries to militarize it.
Map 1 China VS India
The Malakka Stratis are the second most important choke point in the world, second only to the Straits of Hormuz at the Persian Gulf.
Map 2 Energy Choke Points
“America’s Master Plan to Turn India Into an Aircraft Carrier Superpower”, February 2016
“U.S. says making progress in aircraft carrier collaboration with India”, February 2016
“The Keys to Closer India-Japan Ties After Abe’s Successful Visit”, January 2016
“India’s Strategic Vietnam Defense Relations”, November 2014
“India, Indonesia to Cooperate on Maritime Security, Defense Procurement”, August 2015
“Australia, India step up defence ties”, September 2015
“Pakistan hands management of strategic Gwadar port to China”, February 2013
“South Korea and India to boost defence ties, infrastructure finance”, May 2015