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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 18 October, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

Indo-Pacific

Indo-Pacific

  • During the 18th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) in New Delhi, the Indian Defense Minister stressed the importance of using ocean resources sustainably for economic growth while protecting the ecosystem's health. He added that India supports open maritime borders with rules in the Indo-Pacific.

The Indo-Pacific region is what?

  • The Indo-Pacific is a relatively new idea. The Indo-Pacific region first came to prominence about ten years ago; since then, it has grown significantly.

  • Understanding that the Indian Ocean and the Pacific are linked strategic theatres is one of the factors contributing to the term's adoption.
  • Also, Asia has become the region of gravity. The Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean offer sea lanes, which is why there are maritime routes. These oceans are where the majority of global trade takes place.

Significance

  • The Indo-Pacific region, which spans four continents—Asia, Africa, Australia, and America—is one of the most populous and economically vibrant regions in the world.
  • The region's dynamism and vigor are obvious given that it is home to 2/3 of the world's economic output and 60% of the world's population.
  • In terms of attracting and receiving foreign direct investment, the region is excellent. There are links to the Indo-Pacific in many of the important and substantial supply networks of the world.
  • The Indian and Pacific Oceans together contain enormous deposits of marine resources, such as offshore hydrocarbons, methane hydrates, seabed minerals, and rare earth metals.
  • Littoral countries have competitive capacities for the exploitation of these resources thanks to their extensive coasts and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).
  • In turn, the Indo-Pacific area is home to some of the largest economies in the world, such as those of China, Japan, Australia, the United States, and India.

What does India think about the Indo-Pacific?

  • Work together for a security architecture: Many of India's close allies, including the US, Australia, Japan, and Indonesia, want India to be present in the South and East China Seas, primarily to challenge China.

  • India, however, wants to work together to create a structure for regional security and peace. A shared rules-based system for the area must be developed by the nations through conversation in order for everyone to enjoy prosperity and security.
  • Africa to America The Indo-Pacific: India views the Indo-Pacific as an area that is free, open, and welcoming. It encompasses every country in the region as well as everyone else with an interest in it. India considers the region from the coasts of Africa to the coasts of America for calculating its geographic size.
  • Equal Participation in Trade and Investment: India supports an open, balanced, rule-based, and stable trading environment in the Indo-Pacific, which raises all countries on the wave of trade and investment. The nation anticipates the same thing from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
  • Unified ASEAN: Unlike China, India wants an ASEAN that is united, not fragmented. China attempts to use the "divide and rule" conquest approach by pitting some ASEAN members against one another.
  • Collaboration with China: India rejects the American interpretation of the Indo-Pacific, which aims to check Chinese dominance. India is more interested in finding methods to collaborate with China.
  • India wants to democratize the area to combat the dominance of one player. The area was virtually like an American lake in the past. However, there is concern that the area will now turn into a Chinese lake. India opposes any player in the region assuming hegemonic power.

What are the Indo-current Pacific's challenges?

  • Geostrategic Competition Theater: The Indo-Pacific region serves as the primary arena for the geostrategic rivalry between various multilateral organizations like QUAD and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

  • Growing China’s dominance: Chinese military buildup has put India's interests and the stability of the Indian Ocean in jeopardy. China is providing military and infrastructure support to India's neighbors, including frigates for Sri Lanka, submarines for Myanmar, and its overseas military facility in Djibouti (Horn of Africa).
  • In addition, China controls the port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka, which is only a few hundred miles from India's coast.
  • Non-Traditional Issues: Due to the size of the region, it is challenging to identify and handle a variety of dangers, such as piracy, human trafficking, and terrorism.
  • Climate change and the three successive La Nia episodes that are triggering cyclones and tsunamis in the Indo-Pacific area are major threats to its ecological and geographical stability.
  • The aquatic life in this area is also being hampered by marine pollution and illicit, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
  • India's Limited Naval Capacity: Due to India's Military Budget's Limited Allocation, the Indian Navy has Limited Resources and Capacity to Strengthen its Efforts. Additionally, India faces a significant logistical problem in maintaining its presence in the Indo-Pacific due to the absence of overseas military bases.

About the Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM)?

  • It was founded in 2004 and functions as an apex-level conference that facilitates the gathering of all the major Coast Guard Agencies in the Asian region.
  • Among the 23 nations represented are Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkiye, and Vietnam (China).
  • In collaboration with the HACGAM Secretariat, the 18th HACGAM is being hosted by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

Way Forward

  • The use of the shared sea and air spaces, which would necessitate freedom of navigation, unhindered commerce, and the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, should be accorded to all countries in the region on an equal basis as a right under international law.
  • Connectivity needs to be established in the area on the principles of respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, consultation, good governance, openness, viability, and sustainability.

Source: The Hindu

  • 27 October, 2021

  • 12 Min Read

Indo Pacific

Indo Pacific

What is Indo Pacific?

  • The “Indo-Pacific” idea was originally conceived in 2006- 07. It was 1st time used by Shinzo Abe in Japan in 2007.
  • Ministry of External Affairs has set up a dedicated Indo-Pacific division for matters related to the Indo-Pacific.
  • The term ‘Indo-Pacific’ combines the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and the Western Pacific Region (WP) – inclusive of the contiguous seas off East Asia and Southeast Asia – into a singular regional construct.

  • The US was reinvigorated in the 2017 East Asia Summit. The US wants an open, free, inclusive, prosperous and rule-based Indo-Pacific system.
  • Significance of Indo-Pacific for India

    1. Natural resources, Market potential, Northeast States, Blue Economy aspirations, Freedom of navigation, counter China.
    2. It will provide the role of a Net security provider and security architecture.
    3. Help in Act East Asia Policy, multilateral groupings, and the role of ports.
    4. This is a shift from Asia-Pacific (including Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania) where India was included in APEC. India is still outside APEC.
  • India’s Vision for Indo-Pacific in the Shangri La Dialogue

    1. India embraced the concept of Indo-Pacific and said India stands for a free, open, inclusive region.
    2. It includes all nations in this geography as also others beyond who have a stake in it.
    3. Southeast Asia is at its Centre. And ASEAN is central to its future.
    4. Evolve, through dialogue, a common rules-based order for the region. These rules and norms should be based on the consent of all, not on the power of the few.
    5. Rather than growing protectionism, India seeks a level playing field for all. India stands for an open and stable international trade regime.
    6. Connectivity is vital and India is doing its part, by itself and in partnership with others like Japan – in South Asia and Southeast Asia, in the Indian Ocean, Africa, West Asia and beyond.
    7. India’s view can be summarized into five S in Hindi: Samman (respect); Samvad (dialogue); Sahyog (cooperation), Shanti (peace), and Samridhi (prosperity).
  • India's role in Indo Pacific: India's goal is to

    1. Seek a climate of trust and transparency.
    2. Respect for international maritime rules and norms by all the countries.
    3. Sensitivity to each other's interests.
    4. Peaceful resolution of maritime security issues.
    5. Increase in maritime cooperation.
  • India's Initiatives for Indo-Pacific

    1. Defence Exercises, Strategic Partnership with countries.
    2. Forum of India-Pacific Islands Cooperation.
    3. Asia- Africa Growth Corridor.
    4. SAGAR Approach and Project MAUSAM.
    5. Quad-plus- were India, Japan, Australia, U.S. and countries of ASEAN.

What is in the news? Indo Pacific Regional Dialogue 2021

  • First conducted in 2018, the IPRD is the apex international annual conference of the Indian Navy and is the principal manifestation of the Navy’s engagement at the strategic-level. The National Maritime Foundation is the Navy’s knowledge partner and chief organiser of each edition of this annual event. The aim of each successive edition is to review both opportunities and challenges that arise within the Indo-Pacific.
  • India is fully determined to protect its maritime interests, while it supports the mandates of the UN Convention on Law of Seas, 1982
  • Seas are vital for the transport of goods, exchange of ideas, catalysing innovations & bringing the world closer
  • Need for efficient & collaborative harnessing of maritime potential of Indo-Pacific for a steady path to prosperity
  • A cooperative response is needed for challenges such as terrorism, piracy, drug trafficking & climate change
  • The broad theme of IPRD 2021, is ‘Evolution in Maritime Strategy during the 21st Century: Imperatives, Challenges and Way Ahead.

Under the broad theme, the IPRD 2021 will focus on eight specific sub-themes. These are:

  • Evolving Maritime Strategies within the Indo-Pacific: Convergences, Divergences, Expectations and Apprehensions.
  • Adaptive Strategies to Address the Impact of Climate Change upon Maritime Security.
  • Port-led Regional Maritime Connectivity and Development Strategies.
  • Cooperative Maritime Domain Awareness Strategies.
  • Impact of the Increasing Recourse to Lawfare upon a Rules-based Indo-Pacific Maritime Order.
  • Strategies to Promote Regional Public-Private Maritime Partnerships.
  • Energy-Insecurity and Mitigating Strategies.
  • Strategies to Address the Manned-Unmanned Conundrum at Sea.

Source: PIB


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