Sun Xianpu, Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of International Strategy at the Central Party School, draws another conclusion from the U.S.-India cooperation.  While he finds that the maritime cooperation between India and the U.S. has developed since the Modi government took office, it is also faced with restraining factors. This offers room for China to develop its Indian Ocean policy. Sun Xianpu explains that even though New Delhi has reached a strategic agreement with the U.S. on maritime cooperation, it is possible to delay the progress of the cooperation between the two countries, which gives China abundant time to plan its own Indian Ocean policy. In response to the growing U.S.-India cooperation, China needs to accelerate its strategic deployment, Sun Xianpu recommends. This can be achieved in three ways: power competition, interest integration, and mechanism coordination. However, power competition is not in line with China's international strategy and does not match its own national strength. Therefore, according to Sun Xianpu, China should focus on establishing influence in the Indian Ocean countries, for instance, by helping regional countries to develop macro-oriented growth. No matter how much resistance competing countries-such as India and Japan-may exert, China should increase its efforts to develop economic and trade ties with the countries of the Indian Ocean.
Sun Degang believes the trend of tightening U.S.-India relations indicates the necessity and urgency for China to further participate in port projects in the region. He argues that China should therefore improve its investment strategies and expand investment cooperation models. In addition, China should optimize its bilateral relations with countries that receive Chinese investment for port development, for instance, by improving policy communication, trade and investment facilitation.
All authors highlight another increasing risk to China’s port development in the Indian Ocean: security. They all note that China will face increasingly complex non-traditional security risks, such as piracy, terrorism and, in particular, the emergence of the Islamic State in the region. Sun Degang, for instance, names Gwadar port in Pakistan’s province Balochistan as a prime example of where Chinese investments and citizens are ever more vulnerable as they increasingly face terrorist attacks. Sun recommends that at the regional level, China should strengthen the creation of new regional mechanisms and its participation in some of the existing regional mechanisms, such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), to enhance China's participation in the Indian Ocean's security governance. As a dialogue partner in the IORA, Sun believes, China can explore strengthening cooperation with the member countries. In addition, Sun suggests, China should strengthen cooperation with international organizations, such as the International Maritime Organization, and become an active voice on the non-traditional security governance in the Indian Ocean.
Sun Xianpu takes a similar approach, arguing that, in light of increasing security problems in the Indian Ocean region, China should promote the construction of security mechanisms. Non-traditional security issues in the Indian Ocean region and the lack of effectiveness of regional governance mechanisms have become more prominent, providing a huge space for China to fill the void. Sun too believes that China should participate in the security governance mechanism of the Indian Ocean region more proactively, represented by formats such as IORA or the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium. More concretely, China should try to shape with other large countries the basic framework of multilateral governance to tackle non-traditional security issues within these formats. After the formation of a regional security governance structure, the Indian Ocean countries should be encouraged to actively participate in regional security governance. Later, according to the regional situation, new members will be recruited in stages.
These articles suggest that rather than a strategy, Chinese experts have a general idea of incremental engagement in Indian Ocean affairs, following the increase of China’s economic and human presence along the maritime trade routes and around the stakes it owns in overseas ports. The focus of their attention is very much on the U.S.-India response that Chinese activities encounter and that partly constrain their expansion.
 Sun Degang, "The situation of China's participation in Indian Ocean port projects and risk analysis" (中国参与印度洋港口项目的形势与风险分析), Contemporary International Relations (现代国际关系 Xiandai Guoji Guanxi) Vol.7 2017.
 Xi Dugang, Liu Jianzhong, Zhou Qiao, Han Zhijun, “Geopolitical risks for the "One Belt One Road” construction in the Indian Ocean"(“一带一路”建设在印度洋地区面临的地缘风险分析郗), World Regional Studies (世界地理研究 Shijie Dili Yanjiu), Vol. 27 No.6 Dec. 2018.
 Sun Xianpu, "The process and limits of India-U.S. maritime cooperation - And China's choices to frame an Indian Ocean Policy" (印美海洋合作的进程及限制性因素—兼论中国印度洋政策的路径选择), South Asian Research Quarterly (南亚研究季刊 Nanya Yanji Jikan) No. 1 2018.