Source: Sea Control posted on 24 March 2024 a 27-minute podcast titled “Chinese Maritime Interests in the Indian Ocean with Commodore Venugopal Vengalil” hosted by Nathan Miller.  

This conversation with retired Indian Commodore Vengalil, a member of the Chennai Centre for China Studies, took place on 5 February.  He reviews the history during the 21st century of the PLA Navy’s shift from an exclusive near sea focus to a significant interest in the far seas and the need to protect China’s interests throughout the Belt and Road Initiative region.

Commodore Vengalil discusses the challenges, especially the long line of communications, for the PLAN in the Indian Ocean to exercise sea control with questionable ability to access ports during hostilities.  He analyzes the capability of the Chinese fleet, which is large but with significant handicaps that limit its ability to project power.  

His remarks are based on a paper published by the Chennai Centre for China Studies on 2 December 2023 and titled “Assessment of Chinese Maritime Interests in Indian Ocean Region.”