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The Costliest Pearl

China's Struggle for India's Ocean

Bertil Lintner



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C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
01 October 2018
The Indian Ocean's strategic importance to China cannot be underestimated, given the oil, African minerals and container traffic that pass through it. Yet, until now, China has been absent from the region since Admiral Zheng He sailed his fleet through in the fifteenth century, exploring and mapping the waters in a bid to extend the Celestial Empire's trading and tributary system.

Beijing's re-entry into the Indian Ocean after 600 years is part of Xi Jinping's 'Belt and Road' megaproject. He is investing trillions of dollars in infrastructure projects around the Ocean rim, including a military base in Djibouti. This has touched off a new and dangerous confrontation. Ranged against China is an informal alliance of India, the US, France, Australia, and, predictably, Japan--Beijing's arch-rival in the Asia-Pacific.

Bertil Lintner unearths this dramatic story, profiling the key players, examining the economic and naval balance of power, and scrutinising New Delhi and Beijing's intense competition for the allegiance of small island nations. China is in the Indian Ocean for the long haul, and the entry of big-power politics into this sensitive maritime region will shape its future for decades to come.
By:   Bertil Lintner
Imprint:   C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 138mm, 
ISBN:   9781849049962
ISBN 10:   1849049963
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   01 October 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Bertil Lintner writes for the Asia Times and various publications in Asia and Europe. He is a recognised expert on Burmese issues as well as ethnic minorities, insurgencies and narcotics in South and Southeast Asia. He has numerous books to his credit, most recently China's India War: Collision Course on the Roof of the World.

Reviews for The Costliest Pearl: China's Struggle for India's Ocean

'A detailed and intriguing account of the rising Chinese superpower's Indian Ocean manoeuvres in a budding new cold war among atolls and island states. This is an indispensable reference tool for anyone interested in this region and in the future of our global order.' -- Lars Ellstroem, author of 'Road to Kashgar: Notes from a Walk through China' 'Four-fifths of the container traffic between Asia and the rest of the world, and three-fifths of the world's oil supplies, pass through the Indian Ocean. The new great game takes place here. This book is a comprehensive and enthralling guide to the Ocean's geopolitics, China's designs for the future of the region and the precarious search for balance. Highly recommended.' -- Bruno Macaes, author of 'Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order'

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