China’s aggression in Indo-Pacific poses ‘significant challenges’ for India


China‘s aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) poses significant geopolitical challenges for India, according to the White House’s Indo-Pacific strategic report released on Friday. According to the report, Chinese coercion can be found all over the world, but it is most prevalent in the Indo-Pacific.

The Indo-Pacific strategic report was released as part of the Quad Ministerial meeting in Australia, which brings together the foreign ministers of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. The ministers expressed their displeasure with China’s nefarious role in the region.

“India faces very significant challenges. China’s behaviour on the Line of Actual Control has had a galvanizing impact on India. From our standpoint, we see tremendous opportunities in working with another democracy – with a country that has a maritime tradition that understands the importance of the global commons – to advance critical issues in the region,” a senior White House official told news agency PTI on the condition of anonymity.

He expressed the US’ desire to build on previous administrations’ efforts to significantly broaden and deepen the relationship, recognising India as a critical strategic partner.

China is combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological might to pursue a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific and become the world’s most powerful power, according to the strategic report.

This is the administration of US President Joe Biden’s first region-specific report. It lays out Biden’s vision for firmly anchoring the US’ position in the Indo-Pacific by assisting India’s rise and regional leadership.

“We will continue to build a strategic partnership in which the United States and India work together and through regional groupings to promote stability in South Asia; collaborate in new domains such as health, space, and cyberspace; deepen our economic and technology cooperation; and contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the statement read.

“We recognise that India is a like-minded partner and leader in South Asia and the Indian Ocean, active in and connected to Southeast Asia, a driving force of the Quad and other regional fora, and an engine for regional growth and development,” it added.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been undermining human rights and international law, including freedom of navigation, as well as other principles that bring stability and prosperity to the region, according to the strategy. From economic coercion of Australia to conflict along the Line of Actual Control with India to growing pressure on Taiwan and bullying of neighbours in the East and South China Seas, the PRC has been undermining human rights and international law, including freedom of navigation, as well as other principles that bring stability and prosperity to the region

“Our collective efforts over the next decade will determine whether the PRC succeeds in transforming the rules and norms that have benefitted the Indo-Pacific and the world. For our part, the United States is investing in the foundations of our strength at home, aligning our approach with those of our allies and partners abroad, and competing with the PRC to defend the interests and vision for the future that we share with others,” it noted.

“We will strengthen the international system, keep it grounded in shared values, and update it to meet 21st-century challenges. Our objective is not to change China but to shape the strategic environment in which it operates, building a balance of influence in the world that is maximally favourable to the United States, our allies and partners, and the interests and values we share,” the report added.

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