Indian South Pacific turn: causes and possible consequences

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Researcher, Sector of International Organizations and Global Political Regulation, Department of International Political Problems
Affiliation: Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: , 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 12

Until recently, Oceania was on the periphery of Indian foreign policy. This was due to a number of historical, political and economic reasons: the polities of Oceania historically weren’t a part of the Indian Ocean world; they gained independence too late, and the volume of India's trade with most of them is insignificant. The situation began to change after Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, but this process soon stalled. However, in recent months, there has been a sharp surge in Indian interest in Oceania.

In the author's opinion, this is due to three processes: India's desire to enlist the support of its solar energy initiatives, the awareness of the weakness of its strategy of containing China in the Indian Ocean and and the formation of a triple informal alliance with the participation of India, Australia and France, which seems beneficial for these countries.

The article analyzes the main imperatives and tasks of India, shows the process of their changes. The author points out that Fiji has historically played a major role in Indian politics in Oceania, but notes that in the near future Indian interest in Papua New Guinea and Tonga, two other island countries with their own armed forces, will grow. The article describes the existing interaction between India and the countries of the South Pacific and promising fields of cooperation.

The author notes that Indian expansion in the region opens up new prospects for Russia and puts before it the question of formulating its own Indo-Pacific strategy, which would be combined with the Indian vision.

KeywordsIndia, Oceania, Narendra Modi, Indo-Pacific, South Pacific, France, Australia, USA, AUCUS
Publication date08.12.2021
Number of characters34512
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