‘Salami Slicing’ Strategy and South China Sea

  Dec 19, 2023

‘Salami Slicing’ Strategy and South China Sea

What is ‘Salami Slicing’ in the context of the South China Sea?

‘Salami Slicing’ is a strategy where a nation executes minor, steady actions to extend control in contested territories. Over time, these actions collectively lead to a major shift in control, often without immediate conflict.

Example of ‘Salami Slicing’ in the South China Sea:

A country might slowly build military installations on disputed islands. While each step is small, over time, the country establishes a strong military foothold.

Why is the South China Sea important to India?

The South China Sea is crucial for India’s trade routes. A significant portion of India’s maritime trade passes through this region. India also advocates for freedom of navigation in international waters.

How does ‘Salami Slicing’ affect India?

Although India isn’t a claimant in the South China Sea, the strategy affects regional stability, impacting India’s trade interests and its strategic partnerships with other affected nations.

India’s Response to ‘Salami Slicing’:

India promotes the rule of law and peaceful resolution of disputes. It supports freedom of navigation and overflight, and upholds the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) principles.


India views the ‘Salami Slicing’ strategy in the South China Sea as a concern for regional stability and the rule-based international order, aligning its approach with international law and cooperative mechanisms for dispute resolution.


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