United States has been the world’s largest economy for more than 140 years. As per figures from International Monetary Fund (IMF), China surpassed US in 2014 and emerged as the largest economy of the world. In recent years, US has accelerated its mission to curb the Chinese economic and military power to maintain its dominance worldwide, while continuously trying to involve India directly or indirectly in its mission of countering China.
As a result of US’ ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy India’s relations with its neighboring countries and other Asian countries will be strengthened and India’s influence will increase in the region.
Asia and Pacific region are strategically very important for US to be the biggest economic and military power in the world. But, considering the increasing influence and interference of China in this region US has made changes in its policies related to Asia-Pacific.
US started to use the term ‘Indo-Pacific’ for its already existing ‘Asia-Pacific’ policy and renamed its oldest military command ‘The Pacific Command’ as ‘Indo-Pacific Command’ on June 2, 2018. With this the United States tried to include India in the ongoing tussle/battle between the world’s two largest economies.
Where US acknowledged the growing economic and military strength of India under its ‘Indo-Pacific’ policy, there it moved to divide southern and East Asian countries. Not only this, US’ move to include India in its newly named ‘Indo-Pacific’ policy angered China as well.
After changing policies and acknowledgement of India’s growing power by United States, all countries of Asia including China have stressed on improving and strengthening relations with India. Where, India is also responding accordingly, on June 2, 2018, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in his speech at Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore took care of interest of China and made it clear, “Indo-Pacific is neither a strategy nor a club”.
Recently, Chinese state run newspaper ‘Global Times’ warned India against US’ ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy and said, “Rather than falling victim to the US’ purpose of containing China’s rise, it is better for India to look towards China for ways of self-development. What India can learn from China is the ability to stand on its own feet that will help determine its place in Asia and the world.”
Newspaper further added, “Don’t forget this strategy has a strong military stance against China. At the very least, it is re-dividing Asia-Pacific with cold war thinking. It is understandable that India wants to keep its sphere of influence as an emerging power, but this should not come at the cost of its domestic development.”
In its editorial’s conclusion ‘Global Times’ said, “From this perspective it is China, not United States, that can provide more support and knowledge to India. If India follows the US strategy step by step, it will lose future opportunities to cooperate with China and many other neighboring countries. India should be able to understand the situation”.
After US’ ‘Indo-Pacific’ policy, China, the decades old rival of India, stressed on strengthening the relations and mutual cooperation with India. Further, India and China are taking initiatives to combat together with common problems of their interest like terrorism and protectionism practices of US.
From US’ ‘Indo-Pacific’ strategy India’s relations with its neighboring countries and other Asian countries will be strengthened and India’s influence will increase in the region that will help in its economic and overall growth. Developed world economies will accept India’s growing power and influence that will help in domestic and economic development of India and in the rise of India as a world power.