Portugal took Malacca in 1511 and took control of the spice trade between China and India. They seem to have met little effective resistance and no other state seems to have done anything about it.
The Chinese actually did contest control of the Indian Ocean and were successful for a long time, easily defeating the Portuguese when they tried. They just never attacked Malacca with a serious force. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tunmen
What was stopping China, or other Indian sultans, from recapturing the city? It seems that they had access to good quality steel at the time - Indian steel was actually superior - and would have much shorter lines of supply than Portugal. Was there some logistical reason why the city was not retaken, or was there no interest in the first place? Why did Asia sit passively by while Portugal was taking control of the spice trade?