The Indo-Pacific: Indian View

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-5-49-58
A. Kupriyanov (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Received 06.02.2021.

Abstract. The article focuses on the Indian version of the Indo-Pacific concept. The author notes that the Russian attitude towards Indo-Pacific is ambiguous, and argues that the reason is the vague and unstructured concept as such. The article analyzes the origin and history of the term Indo-Pacific itself. The author traces its history back 170 years and describes in detail how it was transformed during these years, consistently evolving from an exclusively geographical name to a geopolitical construct, then to an oceanographic term, then to a geopolitical construct again. Further, the author analyzes in detail the preconditions in the political, cultural, economic and security spheres, that had developed by the time of the emergence of the Indo-Pacific concept: India’s desire to form a sphere of political influence within the borders of the Indian Ocean region, confirming its status as a great power; concerns about Chinese expansion and the alleged “String of Pearls” strategy in the Indian Ocean; the desire to restore the cultural and civilizational unity of the Indosphere; an attempt to build a comprehensive economic strategy that would allow India with relying on regional organizations, bilateral ties and trade megablocks to catch up with China economically. Because of these preconditions the idea of the Indo-Pacific, proposed by the experts, was immediately accepted by the political elites of India and turned into one of the pillars of Indian foreign policy. The author identifies two main visions of the Indo-Pacific in Indian discourse: as an anti-Chinese concept and as a broader cultural and civilizational concept, which should serve as a basis for India’s further expansion into the Pacific. However, economic problems may prevent this concept from being further strengthened and turned into a full-fledged initiative. Nevertheless, India is unlikely to abandon the idea of the Indo-Pacific, so Russia should develop its own version of the Indo-Pacific concept, which would be combined with the Indian one and at the same time correspond to the interests of Russia.

Keywords: India, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indo-Pacific, Indian Ocean region


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For citation:
Kupriyanov A. The Indo-Pacific: Indian View. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 5, pp. 49-58.

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