Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 23
Against the backdrop of the India-China border tensions, a new US Strategy Paper envisages a crucial role for India in both military and economic dimensions to deal with China.
The paper, which defines the US approach to China in the coming days, mentions the Sino-Indian border as among the hotspots where China is engaging in provocative and coercive military and paramilitary activities with its neighbours.
The others are the Yellow Sea, the East and South China Seas and the Taiwan Strait.
It speaks of India’s Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) policy, along with maritime doctrines of the ASEAN, Japan, Australia and South Korea and Taiwan, that it views as “mutually aligned visions and approaches.”
The US perceives the alliance with India as a “cornerstone” of is defence strategy to develop a combat-credible forward operating presence which will be fully integrated with allies and partners to deter and deny the PRC aggression.
“Prevailing in strategic competition with China requires cooperative engagement with multiple stakeholders, and the US is committed to building partnerships to protect our shared interests and values,” says the document, making it clear that the core interest behind marshalling the combined resources of India and other countries is to protect American interests.
The other arm will be economic, in which the US sees a role for India. As a counterpoise to China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, the US is promoting the ‘Blue Dot’ initiative which was mentioned by US President Donald Trump during his India visit at the end of February.
Under this initiative, projects blue-ticked on parameters such as environment and financial sustainability besides quality standards will receive financial and technical handholding by American institutions and firms. The US anticipates direct investment of nearly $1 trillion in the Indo-Pacific region.
The paper, however, states that the approach was not premised on determining a particular end state for China.
“Rather, our goal is to protect US vital national interests”, including protecting the American people, promoting American prosperity, preserving peace through strength and advancing American influence.