Here's a bracing pair of paragraphs-
India has declared itself ready to deploy naval vessels to the South China Sea to protect its oil-exploration interests there, a potential new escalation of tensions in a disputed area where fears of armed conflict have been growing steadily.
India's naval chief made the statement on Monday just as Vietnam's state oil and gas company, Petrovietnam, accused Chinese boats of sabotaging an exploration operation by cutting a seismic cable being towed behind a Vietnamese vessel.
India being able to project power into the Pacific? Yes, they have picked up the ability. At least one carrier, some boomer subs and Harriers to go with the carriers. Enough to give the Indians some bite that can be projected into the well-traveled South China Sea.
India is increasingly an economic power with a growing car industry and a world-class computer industry. As a trading power, keeping the sea lanes open to and from places like Korea and Japan is critical.
India and China have a border in common that has seen some conflict over the years, but the economic battle royale that is brewing in the SCS over islands that would give the owner economic rights to the seabed around it and the oil under the seabed. China and Japan are in the middle of saber-rattling over an island in-between them, and China might have unsheaved the saber against Vietnam; since the two had a war in the late 1970s, coming to blows again wouldn't be inconceivable.
Having India as a regional power has its advantages. Places like Vietnam and the Philippines that have a history with the US as an occupying power might be more inclined to accept the help of a fellow Asian country than to have the US butt in. Given that the Indians and the US are largely on the same page, this seems like a welcome development, but one that throws an extra wildcard factor into Asian geopolitics.