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India and the Allure of the ‘Indo-Pacific’

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  • David Scott
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    This article looks at the attraction that the term ‘Indo-Pacific’ has gained in strategic discourse in and around the Indian government since 2010. A strong geopolitical and geo-economic sense of the Indo-Pacific has become apparent in this emergent Indo-Pacific discourse, which combines elements of India’s ‘Look South’ and ‘Look East’ policies, and in which a core Indo-Pacific of the eastern Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean has particular strategic coherence. Not only have government leaders adopted the term Indo-Pacific at various times, diplomats, navy service chiefs, influential think tanks and persuasive voices like Shyam Saran and C. Raja Mohan have also been noticeable in their use of the term. India’s bilateral and trilateral relations with Japan, Australia and the US have attracted particular Indo-Pacific associations in India. While a criticism of the term Indo-Pacific is that it has negative China-centric, balancing undertones, the article finds that although China-centric balancing frequently accompanies Indo-Pacific discourse, this is not an inherent part of the concept.

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    Article provided by in its journal International Studies.

    Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3-4 (July)
    Pages: 165-188

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:intstu:v:49:y:2012:i:3-4:p:165-188
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