ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A New ‘Washington Consensus’

‘Indo–Pacific’ and India’s Emerging Role

A New ‘Washington Consensus’

The United States administration is fervently promoting the “Indo–Pacific” as an alternative geopolitical construct to mobilise a large number of countries in the Asia–Pacific region to contain Chinese and Russian influence. However, India under the Narendra Modi administration has become a strategic contraption by yielding to the pressures of the Donald Trump regime for a programmed “Indo–Pacific” ploy. In the emerging scenario, New Delhi’s rhetoric on “strategic autonomy” has become a political liability.

The geopolitical construct of “Indo–Pacific” has gained considerable significance in international relations recently. Scholars, policymakers and think tanks across the world argue that the locale of Asia–Pacific has been substituted more realistically by an appropriate category encompassing two oceanic political and strategic heritages of both the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Leaders and policymakers from Japan, Australia, the United States (US), to India and Indonesia have frequently deployed “Indo–Pacific” in their speeches, statements and writings. However, the construct of the Indo–Pacific has a much wider meaning and implication today against the background of the changing US strategy in the region with a view to containing China as a rising power, both economically and militarily.

The US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi enunciated this construct within the framework of their countries’ strategic and economic interests. While Trump has been more explicit in his position on the potentials and challenges of the region, Modi talked about “strategic autonomy” and “free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo–Pacific Region” at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore (MEA 2018a). However, just before the commencement of the Shangri-La Dialogue, it may be noted, Washington had rechristened its military command in charge of the Asia–Pacific region from the “Pacific Command” to the “Indo–Pacific Command.”

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Updated On : 22nd Feb, 2019

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