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Opinion

‘The security and stability of the Indo-Pacific are vital to the world’: S Jaishankar

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The security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific is vital to the world and the region captures a combination of ever widening horizons, ever widening interests and globalized activities, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.

In defining the construction of the Indo-Pacific, he said that the region signifies the confluence of the Indian and Pacific oceans that can no longer be managed as separate spheres. The space is also home to more than 64% of the world’s population and accounts for 62% of world GDP, with more than 50% of world trade passing through its waters.

“And obviously, the security, stability, peace and prosperity of this vast region is vital to the world,” he said while speaking on the theme “Future Building of the Indo-Pacific” at the 2020 Partnership Summit organized by the Confederation of the Indian. Industry (CII) and the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Domestic Trade.

“Each nation and region would have its own version of this reality. But I can speak for India and say this: it captures a mix of our ever widening horizons, ever widening interests and globalized activities, “he added.

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Jaishankar emphasized the need for collaborative action, as the individual interests of countries and collective benefits are at stake. He said that addressing Indo-Pacific politics is essential for all actors in the international arena, as threats to the region could jeopardize security.

Referring to the debate over who owns the Indo-Pacific concept, he said records show that India and Japan were “the first to move” with Australia and the United States joining later. ASEAN announced its Indo-Pacific approach last year and France, Germany and the Netherlands recently unveiled their official policies, while the UK now speaks of an “Indo-Pacific tilt.”

“This active debate should be treated as an acknowledgment of reality and a statement of priorities. Very appropriately, much of it revolves around ASEAN, whose East Asia Summit initiative has long had its own Indo-Pacific overtones, ”he added.

Speaking about India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), which was announced at the East Asia Summit in November 2019, Jaishankar said that it aims to strengthen practical cooperation and builds on the seven pillars of the maritime safety, maritime ecology, maritime resources, capacity. construction, reduction and management of disaster risk; scientific, technological and academic cooperation; and trade, connectivity and maritime transport.

India will be a driving force for all areas under IPOI, and like-minded countries such as Australia and Japan, and ASEAN member states have already expressed their willingness to work with the country in these areas, Jaishankar said.

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