Over the past year, there has been a growing interest in the vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”. While the term Indo-Pacific has enjoyed growing use over the last decade among analysts and policymakers in the United States and Australia, a number of more recent developments have resulted in the narrative gaining greater traction. Despite that increased usage, it is a notion that requires greater depth and a clearer vision, particularly in terms of economic linkages and connectivity.
The notion of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific requires a clearer vision in terms of its economic linkages and connectivity.
The “China factor” can be one element which further unites the strategic interests of India, Australia, the United States and Japan but is not, of itself, a sufficient glue.
In a time of US unpredictability and apparent insularity, and the willingness of China to mend its ties with India and Japan, the notion of the Indo-Pacific itself needs to be better defined.
The Indo-Pacific narrative cannot be driven by platitudes or personalities. It must be deeper and more substantive.