The great polarized game in the Indian Ocean: Options for US, China and Pakistan


  • Sharin Shajahan Naomi Department of Gender Studies, Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
  • Syed Muhammad Saad Zaidi Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Adam Saud Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan.



Politics of Indian Ocean, Sino-Indian strategic competition, geopolitical paradigm shift, grand strategy, Belt and Road Initiative, China, United States, Pakistan


Indian Ocean (IO) has occupied an overlapping space of political concern and maritime security due to increasing geo-strategic importance in the region. A competition has been noticed amongst key littoral states in the IO, particularly among United States, India and China. In this competing game, United States is found to be proactively supporting India to expand its influence on IO. On the other hand, China is developing trade and military relationship with other countries including Pakistan to demonstrate leverage on the IO region. This paper sheds light into this great polarized game and its implications for Pakistan. The study uses secondary data and adopts a critical approach largely based upon ‘realist’ paradigm to analyse and understand the role of the aforementioned key actors in the political developments of the region The study reveals that both India and China, are competing ferociously and forming alliances (India with USA and China with Pakistan) to establish regional hegemony. This competition, in turn, has greatly politically polarized the region and threatened peace and stability. In this context, Pakistan needs to carefully develop its strategy which will serve its aspiration to have a positive peaceful image in the global politics and serve strategic national interest.


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How to Cite

Naomi, S. S., Zaidi, S. M. S., & Saud, A. (2021). The great polarized game in the Indian Ocean: Options for US, China and Pakistan. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 5(2), 236–249.



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