Seychelles: How a Small Island State is Navigating Through the Emerging Competition Between India and China

Jean-Pierre CABESTAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article explores how much Seychelles, a small island state located in the western part of the Indian Ocean, enjoys ‘agency’ in relation to great power rivalries, particularly China and India. There is clearly deepening competition between India and China, in Seychelles as well as in the rest of the Indian Ocean. China’s longstanding interest and presence in this small island state has encouraged India itself to do more for the security and the economy of a partner that it sees as ‘special’. Reacting to Beijing’s decision to open a naval ‘logistic facility’ in Djibouti, Delhi has proposed its own naval base on Assumption, a southern island of Seychelles. To date, this issue has not been resolved. India has also increased its aid and infrastructure projects. Yet Seychelles has tried to limit its dependence on Delhi and seeks to cooperate with everyone; demonstrating, in so doing, a small state’s capacity to keep some agency in the growing competition among great powers that the world has been witnessing since the end of the Cold War.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-81
JournalSeychelles Research Journal
Volume3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

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