One of the new dynamics of the gathering geopolitical turbulence in Asia and its waters is the growing use of the term ‘Indo-Pacific’. During his extended visit to Asia in November 2017, United States (US) President Donald Trump has defined the region as ‘Indo-Pacific’ rather than the customary ‘Asia-Pacific’. Concepts of geopolitical space are never static, and Trump’s emphasis on the Indo-Pacific underlines the rise of India, China’s assertiveness and its expanding footprint in the Indian Ocean, as well as Washington’s plans to elevate its strategic partnership with New Delhi. It involves America’s strategic bet on India’s future role in shaping the security architecture in the eastern hemisphere. Actively promoted in recent years by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Indo-Pacific conception can be traced back to the decision of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to invite India as a founding member of the East Asia Summit in 2005. The durability of the Indo-Pacific dynamic, however, will depend essentially on New Delhi’s willingness to work with the US and its allies in the region.

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This article was originally published by the Institute of South Asian Studies.