Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant Professor of Political Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Associate Professor of Political Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Ph.D. Student in Political Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
The South Asian region, which consists of eight countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are is of the main centers of energy consumption in the 21st century, where the issue of energy security A variety of demographic, economic, political, geographical, geopolitical and geoeconomics factors are of great importance.
China and India as two growing powers, Across Asia and the surrounding waters, are at odds with each other in terms of national interests, they try to limit the other country on the one hand with the aim of further growth, and on the other hand by creating unions and mutual blockade. In the meantime, Undoubtedly, the issue of energy and access to it will play a big role in the territorial claims of India and China in this region and this raises the question of what effect geopolitics of energy will have on regional security in South Asia, given the mapping of China and India?
According to the research topic, which examines the geopolitical role of energy on security in the regions of South Asia and the role of two major regional actors, namely China and India, on the agenda, Researchers have tried to study the subject using analytical and descriptive research methods. In the analytical-descriptive research method, an attempt is made to analyze geographical events and facts using analytical logic, and Library studies have been used to collect data and information used in the research. Also, using software such as Arc GIS and options such as Smart Art in word, maps and shapes have been prepared following the research objectives.
Results and discussion
South Asia region and China-India geopolitical competition
The South Asian region is at the heart of geopolitical change for at least two reasons: 1- China's economic and military progress, as well as its efforts to increase its diplomatic and trade influence in the Eurasian region. 2- India's progress and efforts to cooperate with South and Southeast Asia (and Eurasia). South Asia is the only independent region that completely seeks to become a "global balancer" with different outcomes. India competes with China in South Asia alongside territorial disputes with Pakistan and even at some point in the 1960s, due to territorial disputes, it engaged in a military confrontation with its eastern neighbor. These geopolitical and territorial disputes have caused that China and Pakistan should get closer to each other and expose the geopolitical chess scene in the Indian subcontinent to new complexities.
Geopolitics of energy and geopolitics of access in South Asia
The countries of the South Asian region are constantly facing the problem of increasing energy demand and should consider strategies that, given their dependence on energy imports, provide them with a continuous and secure flow of energy. However, statistics show the growing dependence of these countries on Middle Eastern crude oil but at the same time, both India and China are moving to supply crude oil from sources outside the Middle East, such as African countries (Nigeria, Angola, and Congo), Asian countries (Russia and Malaysia), and American countries (Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and United States).
Energy and geopolitical competition between India and China in South Asia
China's geopolitical approaches to South Asia are not limited to Pakistan. this country is also seeking to maintain its supremacy in the Strait of Malacca. China's domination of the Straits of Malacca has raised concerns for India, because, in the west of the region, China is also seeking to exert influence in the north of the Arabian Sea. China's domination of both east and west connecting highways with South Asia gives it a geostrategic advantage over India and it poses a growing threat to India's secure access to major fossil energy sources, especially crude oil.
US intervention and Intensified competition between India and China
In South Asia
Factors such as China's economic and security development, China moves across the Indian Ocean, China threatens to US interests in the Persian Gulf geopolitical region can affect the issue of energy exchange in the world, the existence of American interests in South Asia, geopolitical rivalry between three major actors: India, Pakistan, and China, encouraged the United States to play an active role in the security structures of South Asia and to cooperate strategically with India.
From a geopolitical point of view, energy supply and proper access to it have a decisive role in regional security. Regional Security in South Asia, influenced by the presence and design of India and China. Both depend on energy imports to stabilize and sustain economic development. Also, due to a set of factors such as geopolitical rivalries and energy geopolitics, countries of the South Asian region have failed to establish a common structure and system for the benefit of the common good and the security of the region. In other words, countries in the region are constantly facing the problem of increasing energy demand and therefore inevitably have to consider strategies that, given their dependence on energy imports, provide them with a continuous and safe flow of energy. Finally, the issue of energy has led to the achievement of geopolitical supremacy in the South Asian region becoming a security priority in the new geopolitics of India and China. The result of this approach, is the fragility of the security of the South Asian Region that has threatened the interests of both countries and their regional neighbors.