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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the significance of strait of Malacca in international trade. (150 words)

    13 Dec, 2022 GS Paper 2 International Relations


    • Start your answer by briefly describing the location of strait of Malacca.
    • Discuss significance of strait of Malacca in International Trade.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    • The Straits of Malacca is a narrow stretch of water in Southeast Asia that is 550 miles long and is located between the east coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the west coast of the Malay Peninsula.
    • It is linked to the Strait of Singapore at its southeast end. The funnel-shaped channel of the Malacca Strait is 800 km long and connects the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea. At its narrowest, Phillips Point, the strait is less than 3km wide.


    • The Straits of Malacca are crucial to the flow of global trade and strategically and commercially significant for several reasons.
      • Strategic Importance:
        • Shortest sea route between the Middle East and East Asia, helping to reduce the time and cost of transportation among Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
        • Through this corridor, approximately 60% of the world's maritime trade transits, and is the main source of oil supply for two of the main Asian consumers: the People's Republic of China and Japan.
        • The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) was created in 2001 to safeguard India's strategic interests in Southeast Asia and the Strait of Malacca by increasing rapid deployment of military assets in the islands.
      • Economically Viable:
        • It is the shortest sea route between the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean and over one-third shorter than the closest alternative sea-based route.
        • It also provides a gateway to energy and food security to India.
      • Diplomatic Importance:
        • Strait of Malacca is lynchpin of India’s act east policy.
    • Challenges:
      • Presence of China:
        • There is constant rise of Chines Navy in Indian ocean region, and mainly from the strait of Malacca.
      • Climate change:
        • With the rapid change in climate, there is rise in sea level across various islands.


    The realization of the main goals of the Indian foreign policy will depend on several factors. The basics are to complete the expansion of infrastructural facilities on the Archipelago and to quantitatively strengthen units subordinated to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This will allow India to maintain a greater presence than ever on regional waters and to intensify patrol missions, especially around the key waterways of the Strait of Malacca.

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