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By Prasana Ravte
1) Which area are we talking about and why is this region Important?
A) The area in question is the Indo Pacific region.
B) Indo-Pacific region is a term which refers to the region which stretches from the eastern shore of the African Continent with the Horn of Africa and Madagascar Islands right up till Australia.
C) This region is handles most of the International trade
D) It contributes 62% in the Global GDP and Contributes to 46% of the world’s merchandise trade.
E) Major Sea Lines Of Communication pass through the region which are required to be safeguarded.
F) Many nations have Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in the Indo pacific which are put into Threat by one nation aggressively expanding in the seas.
G) these waters have been in a zone of competition for a long time.
2) Why is this region so hot in recent months and what does it mean for India?
A) The growing advent of PLA Navy has risen a concern in the international community
B) They have been building artificial Islands along the South China Sea and building Military bases on them which is a major concern for small nations like the Philippines, Brunei and others.
C) The Senkaku Islands is an example of the dispute which has risen with China claiming the islands which were No Man’s land according to Japan.
D) The Chinese String of Pearls Strategy is of major concern to us as Chinese ports in countries like Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan with a view of surrounding India in Sea like it hopes to achieve in the northern frontiers with its Belt-Road Initiative
3) What has been the International response to it?
A) Indian Navy published “Indian Maritime Doctrine” in 2007 which stated that India will Patrol all the Choke Points in Indo-Pacific Region like the Strait of Hormuz and The Strait of Malacca.
B) India Signed the Military Pact with Australia which gained access to both parties to each other’s military bases. It was signed to make sure that Indian navy has some place to anchor which will significantly increase the reach of the Indian Navy in the region. It has similar pacts with the US and Philippines.
C) US sent its two Aircraft carriers in the Area and the exercised with Bomber planes to the South China Sea.
D) Consistent land aggression which is done by China against Bhutan and Nepal and the naval aggression of china in the Blue Waters has led to everyone setting their eyes on India to come forth as a Significant Superpower in the region along with the quad nations and ensure that the free navigation is ensured in the waters.
4)What are the international committees doing about it?
A) the most important role in the Indo-Pacific will be played by ASEAN nations and quad of Nations.
B) ASEAN plays a big role in the region because any threat by PLAY directly affects the ASEAN nations in all aspects militarily and Economic being one of them. Massive responsibility will be placed upon these nations to come together and ensure the freedom of trade and navigation on the high seas.
C) The Quad Nations unlike the ASEAN are the big players in the region. ASEAN will require their assistance to ensure the safety of the international Trade Routes. The recent Pact between India and Australia was signed keeping the Malacca strait into consideration.
5)What can India as a nation do about the growing influence of PLA in the Indo-Pacific?
A) India is one of the Big Nations which can be directly affected by the Chinese increasing its naval might in the region.
B) India fully supported ASEAN to build the Indo-Pacific as the region of dialogue instead of rivalry
C) India knows the importance of maritime domain and has been increasing its Naval presence in the region whether it be to prevent the Piracy which is prevalent near the Horn of Africa or the protection of shipping lanes the Indian Ocean Region
D) Access to the naval facility in Duqm in Oman, Sabang in Indonesia, US Base in Diego Garcia and French base at Reunion Island along with the building of Chabahar Port will extend the Indian Presence and place India in a very strategic and Powerful group of countries.
E) India’s Position as a Prominent power in the region called for a special Tri services Command which will look after the Indian Ocean Region which was done by the creation of Andaman and Nicobar Command which was the first and only Tri services Theatre command.
F) India also takes part in various Naval exercises like the RIMPAC and exercise Malabar which gives the Indian sailors and Officers an exposure into the international world.
G) Although India is working on creating a 200-ship navy by 2027 and the induction of the Naval Variant of Tejas and INS arihant has boosted the process, we still spend a lot less than the other countries on our Navy.
H)Although India must spend more on building its fleet, we are Definitely a force to be reckoned with and are capable of containing the PLA in the Region.