Indo-Pacific Wing in MEA
- 15 Apr 2019
- 3 min read
India has set up an Indo-Pacific division in the Ministry of External Affairs.
- The new division is intended to give a coherent architecture to the policy, which was articulated by the prime minister at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2018.
Highlights of PM Narendra Modi's address at Shangri-La
- By projecting an equivalence in ties with the US, Russia, and China – India reaffirmed its principle of strategic autonomy and cautioned against the return of the ‘great power rivalries’.
- India’s Indo-Pacific strategy is not aimed at China’s containment.
- India sees the Indo-Pacific as primarily a geographic domain — a “natural region”.
- The Indo-pacific region is ultimately multi-polar, hence rejecting or contesting the idea that either China or the United States could be the one regional hegemonic power.
- India is indispensable to the security of the Indian Ocean.
- Signified the interconnectedness of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the importance of the oceans to security and commerce.
Importance of Separate Division
- MEA’s territorial divisions are crucial for policy making, so the creation of an Indo-Pacific division is a big step by the government.
- The division will integrate the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN region and the Quad.
- India is planning to put greater energy to the IORA because the core of its Indo-Pacific policy is rooted in the Indian Ocean.
- The US also recently renamed its Pacific Command to the Indo-Pacific Command as it seeks to give significance to its Indo-Pacific policy.
- The Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) is an intergovernmental security forum held annually by an independent think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore.
- The Shangri-La Dialogue has evolved into a key strategic gathering of the Asia-Pacific region.
- It is attended by defense ministers, permanent heads of ministries and military chiefs of Asia-Pacific states.
Indian Ocean Rim Association
- The Indian Ocean Rim Association is an inter-governmental organization which was established on 7 March 1997.
- IORA has 21 Member States, mainly littoral Indian Ocean states, and 7 other states as Dialogue Partners.