By Nilanthi Samaranayake*
The Rorschach test asks viewers to describe their interpretations of a series of inkblots.
A map of the Indian Ocean evokes a wide range of potential interpretations. A vast sea-lane highway connecting the Middle East to East Asia? The engine of the global economy, ranging from hydrocarbon to container shipping? A series of ports operated or built by China that could someday become military bases? The core of the “Indo-Pacific” region? Its periphery? The Indian Ocean provides a Rorschach test for watchers of the region.