The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, Alice Wells said that Indian and American administrations are neither a zero construct, nor designed to be against any country, and all the initiatives that we are taking are deeply in the interest of all the countries of the region.
Alice Wells said in an interview with IANS, when asked about Indo-Pacific strategy, “At the heart of it is the open trading system that has benefited all of the countries of the region. America has about $1.4 trillion in bilateral trade with the countries of the Indo-Pacific region”.
Alice said, “I think the Indian and American administrations (it) is not a zero sum construct; it is not designed to be against any country but rather for a set of principles”.
She said, “The maritime channels are vital to global prosperity and security and so the initiatives that we are undertaking, whether its economic or promoting regional connectivity, governance, in promoting the policies that allow economies to operate freely in security, to determine maritime security as well as humanitarian assistance during times of crisis — all of these are deeply in the interest of all of the countries of the region”.
She added, “deep people-to-people ties that bind our countries together, whether it is through the diaspora communities or the 186,000 students who are in the US studying, and the million and a half or 1.6 million travel to the US and the over 1 million American tourists who travel to India”.
China considers Indo-Pacific strategy as a move of US to curb its regional influence and has criticized it on international platforms. Chinese daily Global Times has earlier said in its editorial that Indo-Pacific strategy of US may divide the Asia into two camps.
Keeping in mind the interests of China, Indian Prime Narendra Modi in his speech at Shangri-La dialogue mentioned “Indo-Pacific is neither a club nor a strategy” and made clear that it is not against any country.