USA’s Indo-Pacific Policy and its impact on India – UPSC GS2

Context: US administration has announced its Indo-Pacific strategy.
Key Points of USA’s 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.
      • US 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 ASEANthe 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:
      • 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 in Indo-Pacific:
  • 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 like:
  • The economic coercion of Australia.
  • The conflict along the Line of Actual Control with India.
  • The growing pressure on Taiwan.
  • Bullying of Japan, ASEAN countries in the East and South China Seas.
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