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International Relations

US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy

  • 14 Feb 2022
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: US’ Indo-Pacific strategy, Indo-Pacific Region.

For Mains: Free and open Indo-Pacific, US’ Indo-Pacific strategy, Tackling China’s assertiveness, India’s Role.

Why in News?

Recently, the US administration has announced its long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy.The document focuses on building collective capacity to deal with challenges in the region.

  • These include a focus on challenges from China, advancing the US relationship, a ‘Major Defense Partnership’ with India and supporting its role as a net security provider in the region.
  • There is an emphasis on working with other countries not just from the region, but also from beyond.
  • Earlier, the European Union had announced that it will reinforce its strategic focus, presence and actions in the Indo-Pacific with the aim of contributing to the stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development of the region.

What are the Key Points of US’ Indo-Pacific strategy?

  • Vision of Indo-Pacific: The US will seek an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient.
    • Free: One of the strategic actions outlined is investing in civil society, a free press and democratic institutions.
    • Connections: Within and beyond the region.
      • The US says it will work “in flexible groupings” to tackle major issues, “particularly through the QUAD.”
      • It will also deepen its (five) regional treaty alliances and work with groups such as ASEAN, the European Union (EU) and NATO.
      • AUKUS, a security alliance between Australia, the UK and the US has also been recently launched.
    • Prosperity: To advance its prosperity goal for the region, the US’ strategy includes seeking higher labour and environmental standards, helping to establish secure supply chains and investing in clean energy.
    • Security: The US has announced that “Integrated deterrence” will form the “cornerstone” of the US’ security plan for the region.
      • It will drive initiatives that reinforce deterrence and counter coercion, such as opposing efforts to alter territorial boundaries or undermine the rights of sovereign nations at sea.
    • Resilience: The Indo-Pacific faces major transnational challenges.
      • Climate change is growing ever-more severe as South Asia’s glaciers melt and the Pacific Islands battle existential rises in sea levels.
      • Further,the Indo-Pacific governments grapple with natural disasters, resource scarcity, internal conflict, and governance challenges.
      • In this context, US envisages to build regional resilience to 21st century transnational threats, including by:
        • Working with allies and partners to develop 2030 and 2050 targets, strategies, plans, and policies consistent with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
        • Reducing regional vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation.
  • Role of India: India’s role in the QUAD is an important element of the US-India relationship.
    • US will “continue to support India’s rise and regional leadership,” working with India bilaterally and through groups on a range of issues.
    • It refers to India as a “like-minded partner” and “driving force” in the QUAD.
    • China's action along the Line of Actual Control (i.e., its border conflict with India) has had a “galvanizing impact” on India and US alignment.
    • Collaborate in new domains, such as health, space, and cyberspace, deepen economic and technology cooperation, and contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
  • China’s Assertiveness: US allies and partners in the region bear much of the effect of China’s assertive policies.

Source: TH

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