UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 15 January 2022

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THE Indo-Pacific Opportunity

What the article is about?

  • Talks about the factors influencing the Indo-Pacific and how India should prioritise its strategies.

Syllabus: GS-II International Relations, India and its neighbourhood

Indo-Pacific:

  • It signifies the interconnectedness of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the importance of the oceans to security and commerce.
  • Interpretation:
    • The Indian version views it as an open, inclusive space for all stakeholders based on common responsibilities and common interests.
    • The US version interprets a free and open region based on a rules-based order.
    • The ASEAN countries interpret it as a model based on consociation-cooperation of different and opposing social groups on the basis of power-sharing.

Important Stakeholders:

  • The region is central to world economy and peace and 9 Countries are key players- US, China, Japan, India, Germany, UK, Russia, Australia and France.
  • US-China equation: US responses and interaction towards Beijing’s South/East China Policy, Aggressive postures towards Taiwan, Human Rights violation in Xinjiang, Subjugation of Hong Kong’s citizenry, assertive economic outreach in Indo-Pacific.
  • Regional Groupings: QUAD– strategic partnership between US, India, Japan and Australia; militaristic AUKUS (Australia, UK, US); EU– aims at increasing its economic and security profile and linkages with the region; ASEAN– faces the heat of China’s aggression 

India’s stand in the region:

  • 3 Obligations:
    • Strengthen the QUAD- fulfilling its commitment to deliver vaccines and protect its established relationship with Russia
    • Enhance cooperation with key Southeast Asian partners- Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand along with humouring ASEAN
    • Eastern and Southern planks of Africa and the Indian Ocean island states need continued high policy attention and financial resources.
  • A clear economic and trade agenda, involving and incentivising corporate India to follow the flag in this vital region.
  • India needs to convert the prospects of its humanitarian assistance done during the pandemic, into economic and strategic opportunities.



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