India Indo-Pacific Relations

India Indo-Pacific Relations

This article deals with various facets of ‘India Indo-Pacific Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’, which is an important pillar of the GS-2 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Indo-Pacific as the new Geopolitical Construct

  • The idea of the Indo-Pacific was originally conceived in 2006-07.
  • The Indo-Pacific region combines two regions, i.e. the Indian Ocean and the West Pacific Region.
India Indo-Pacific Relations

Why this word has gained eminence?

  • The Indo-Pacific Region consists of
    • 63% of global GDP
    • 50% of global maritime trade
    • Rich in natural resources
  • The increasing geopolitical connection between the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific Ocean in the geo-economic and security dimensions. The security and economic dimension of Pacific  and Indian Ocean can’t be seen separately.
  • The shift of economic Center of gravity: The global economic Center of gravity has shifted eastwards towards Asia due to the rise of China and India. Hence, the geo-strategists have started to view the Indian Ocean and West Pacific as a single entity. 
  • The growing eminence of India: Due to the increase in India’s economic and strategic importance in global affairs, the world expects India to play a constructive role in the security, growth and development of the maritime environment of the region
  • Reaction to Chinese aggressiveness: The block led by the US wants to take India on board in its positioning against the aggressive posture of China in the region. 

Benefit to India

  • It will help raise India’s geostrategic profile and make her a prominent player in the whole Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
  • It provides an opportunity for deeper cooperation with countries like Japan, the US, ASEAN, Australia etc.
  • The Indo-Pacific concept helps India counter the Chinese String of Pearls Policy of China.
  • It will help India and the world ensure peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and secure Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs).
  • The concept is in line with India’s Act East Policy.

Challenges for India

  • India has limited naval capacity and a lack of military bases in the region.
  • India will have to balance its continental and maritime strategies. Given its volatile borders, India can’t take responsibility for the security of such a vast maritime area.
  • In the scheme of things, the USA is putting India against China to check the Chinese rise and safeguard its interests.

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