India calls for ‘inclusive and rules-based’ Indo-Pacific

Lazy eyes listen


In the midst of a diplomatic crisis with Canada, Indian military authorities underlined New Delhi’s desire for a “free, open, inclusive, and rules-based” Indo-Pacific region on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC) in New Delhi on Tuesday, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that India’s efforts to build robust military partnerships demonstrate its commitment to not only safeguard its national interests but also address global challenges faced by all.

“India has always stood for a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific Region, in the pursuit of shared security and prosperity,” Singh said, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense. He noted that India’s approach to the region is defined by its Act East policy, which promotes economic cooperation, cultural ties, and strategic relationships with the nations of Southeast Asia.

The 13th IPACC conference, along with the Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS) and the Senior Enlisted Leaders Forum (SELF), which Singh called “one of the largest brainstorming events of land forces in the region,” are co-hosted by the armies of India and the US and attended by delegates from 35 countries.

General Manoj Pande, chief of the Indian Army, has also advocated for a free and peaceful Indo-Pacific region in which the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations is respected.” Pande stated that India’s view for the region emphasises respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. His statements came amid growing concerns in New Delhi about China’s military posture in the region, according to the PTI news agency.

Some of New Delhi’s main Indo-Pacific partners, notably the United States and Australia, were critical in the standoff with Ottawa over its charges of India’s “potential” participation in the killing of a Sikh leader in Canada. New Delhi has refuted the allegations, accusing Ottawa of providing a “safe haven” for terrorists. Canada has yet to offer any public information.

When asked about the diplomatic standoff between India and Canada, Major General Peter Scott, deputy commander of the Canadian Army, told reporters on the sidelines of the conference that, despite the allegations, the armies of the two countries are looking for opportunities to “exchange ideas” and “learn from each other.”
General Randy George, chief of staff of the US Army, stated that the alliance between the Indian and US forces is “very important for stability in the Indo-Pacific,” adding that the connection is “strong and growing stronger.”

According to the Indian Foreign Ministry, the Indo-Pacific region includes many South Pacific regions and subregions, including Australia, New Zealand, Pacific island states, the East China Sea, ASEAN countries, and the Indian Ocean.