From 'Asian Century' to 'America's Pacific Century' and Evolving Contours of the Indo-Pacific Reality: An Indian Perspective
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The post-cold war international strategic landscape is constantly evolving and there is no consensus on the nature as well as nomenclature of the emerging global order. However, a new concept of 'Asian Century' has gained currency with the simultaneous rise of China and India. Out of these two countries, China's sustained economic growth and its assertive power projection in its Asiatic neighbourhood have forced the US over the last few decades to pivot away from the Euro-Atlantic realm and 'rebalance' its forces in the 'Indo-Pacific' theatre, combining both Indian and Pacific Oceans. US policymakers have introduced yet another concept of 'America's Pacific Century' to signify long-term US pivot to the region. The paper seeks to isolate the compulsions behind shift in US policy as well as the responses from countries in the region, with special focus on India, and to assess its sustainability. The paper argues that given the interconnectedness of the globalized world today, it is far from certain whether Indo-Pacific will remain the only important theatre, as it was evident in the case of Russian assertion in Ukraine recently. Such events may compel the US and its allies and/or partners to constantly revise their policies towards the region. Moreover, in view of the complexity of inter-state engagements in the region - including the instance of US-China interdependence - regional countries may seek simultaneous engagement with the US and China in military and economic spheres respectively and hope that increased US strategic attention, together with China's compelling economic interests would ensure regional peace and stability. Therefore, rather than seeking 'alliances', the US should focus more on quality partnerships in the region to shape a truly pacific century.
Griffith Asia Quarterly
Griffith Asia Quarterly was published between 2013 and 2015. An archived version of the original journal website is available via PANDORA - http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/141524