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.
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.