(Short Article) The Indo-Pacific Zone: A Challenge to China’s Belt and Road Initiative?

Concerned about China’s escalating influence beyond Western Pacific, Japan and India have come up with ways to complicate China’s strategic calculus and to maintain a multipolar world. This Japan-India collaboration has given birth to the Indo-Pacific alliance.

In this era of changing world order where US hegemony is over, the economic giants in the Asian region which have long-standing ties with the US, such as Japan and India, are trying to play their cards right in the course of ever-complex global transformations. As the global stage brings the spotlight to the ever rising China, with its bold moves to take the baton of international leadership such as through their Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the other major economic players in Asia are trying to see how best they could respond to this situation. Dubious of the real motives behind the BRI, Japan and India are trying to counteract this with their Indo-Pacific Zone. As it is said, only a giant can go against another giant.

It could be said that in terms of Asian geopolitics, Japan and India – being the two other largest economies in Asia apart from China – are the Asian countries that possess the clout that could approximately counter China’s aggressiveness. In 2017, Japan was the world’s third largest economy with a GDP of $4.4 trillion, accounting to 5.9% of the entire world’s economy. It also plays a substantial role in the international community by being a leading aid donor and a source of global capital and credit. Even in the long run, as projected in the study entitled “The World in 2050”, Japan would still likely hold a high economic ranking albeit lower than the present one. India, on its part, was the seventh largest economy in 2017 with a GDP of $2 trillion, or 2.8% of the global economy. As emerging countries are approximated to still grow rapidly in the future, India can even outpace US. It is estimated that it would be the second largest economy in 2050, lagging behind only from China and holding a rank higher than the US. As such, synergy between these two dominant Asian economies could indeed impose implications in the way China carries out its international ambition.

The full article can be accessed at https://shabka.org/blog/2018/10/03/the-indo-pacific-zone-a-challenge-to-chinas-belt-and-road-initiative/

 

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Published originally on 3 October 2018 at Shabka

Shabka is Austria’s youngest think-and-do tank at the nexus of conflict and peace analysis as well as foreign, development, and security policy. It is set up as a civil society network, and a hub for passionate talents.

Photo by Michael Afonso from Unsplash

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