China using ‘coercive’ economic tools in Indian Ocean to achieve security aims: US | India News

NEW DELHI: China is using “coercive economic tools” to achieve its security goals in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) while also failing to comply with international law and demonstrating a lack of transparency in ongoing efforts to establish overseas military bases, a senior US defense official said.
“Our concern is not only with regard to China’s growing naval presence in the IOR, but also how it represents that presence and what its intentions are… We have already started. see a pattern of behavior that we’ve seen in other regions,” the assistant secretary of state defended Indo-Pacific security issue Ely S Ratner said during a roundtable on virtual communication.
The India-U.S. strategic defense partnership is thus “central” to Washington’s vision of a free and open IOR and the broader Indo-Pacific region. “While there may be bumps along the way, we are really focused on the long game, which is building our partnership into the future and supporting our capabilities,” he said. India in shaping a favorable balance of power in the Indo-Pacific. .
Armed with the world’s largest Navy with 355 warships and submarines, China has stepped up its hunt for logistics bases in the IOR, from Cambodia, the Seychelles and Mauritius to East African countries, following its establishment. an official overseas base in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, as previously reported by TOI.
China’s resolute use of a debt-trap policy was also evident when its space tracking and research vessel Yuan Wang-5 docked at Hambantota last month. This has raised red flags in the Indian defense establishment that it could lead to Chinese warships regularly using Sri Lanka as a turning base for future operations. Of course, China already has full access to Pakistan’s Karachi and Gwadar ports.
Ratner, for his part, said India and the US are now “more closely aligned” than ever in history, with “converging strategic interests” and a “shared vision” for the Indian Ocean region. – Pacific.
He listed three main Pentagon priorities for India. First, assist India in modernizing its military, enhancing its deterrence capabilities and rising as a defense industrial power through co-development and co-production of weapons systems. This will help India’s own modernization goals as well as its ability to export to “our partners” in the region, he said.
“The second priority we are pursuing is to strengthen cooperation and coordination, to counter and overcome our adversaries in key areas of war,” Ratner said. . This has translated into naval exercises, information sharing, technical exchanges and cooperation on sea and underwater awareness. There is also extensive cooperation in cyber, space, artificial intelligence and other emerging technology areas.
“Third and last, as we move to a more advanced stage in our partnership, we are thinking more broadly about how we work together within the broader regional architecture, including in establishing alliances with partners both within and outside the region,” he said.
An example of this growing strategic unity to prevent coercion in the Indo-Pacific is the “ Quad-plus-France ‘La Pérouse’ exercise in the Bay of Bengal in April. last year.

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