The Lowy Institute in Australia launched a special page to monitor the combined Indian and Pacific Ocean theater yesterday, a smart step for one of the region’s best think tanks and an important resource for analysts. The monitor advances a controversial and relatively uncommon view of Australia’s environs and its strategic place therein: “In recent years, the Asia-Pacific definition of Australia’s wider region has begun giving ground to an Indo-Pacific concept, which spans the Indian and Pacific oceans in a single maritime strategic system,” reads an introduction
to a paper by one of the program’s directors.This is a smart move in exactly the right direction. “The Asia that Australia needs to engage, economically, societally and strategically,” reads the introduction paper
is no longer limited to the Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, or the China of the 90s and early 2000s; it is also South Asia but especially India, now a major trading partner, substantial investor, growing military power and diplomatic player, the source of one of our largest skilled migrant communities, and a major relationship with vast potential for further growth—as well as a nation with problems we cannot ignore.
This is a useful resource that people should know about, and one we’ll be keeping our eye on. Check it out here and read some of the introductory materials. This stuff will be important as we make our way through what we need to start calling the Indo-Pacific Century.[Map of Indian Ocean and South Asia courtesy of Shutterstock.]