The Indo-Pacific construct reflects a more contemporary world, mirroring the overcoming of the Cold War and not reinforcing it, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday at a virtual dialogue with his French and Australian counterparts.
He said the Indo-Pacific refers to a seamless world that was historically present in the form of Indian-Arab economic-trading ties and cultural influences from ASEAN nations like Vietnam and the east coast of China.
“I would argue that in a way, the Indo-Pacific is a return to history. It reflects the more contemporary world. It is actually the overcoming of the Cold War and not reinforcing it,” Jaishankar said at the Raisina Dialogue.
“I very much hope that all of us who run contemporary foreign policy look at it that way,” he added.
Incidentally, at a media briefing on Wednesday, Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev criticised the Indo-Pacific strategy of the western countries describing it as “dangerous” and an effort to revive the cold war mentality.
The virtual trilateral dialogue focused on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific as well as in dealing with the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
India and Australia are part of the Quad or Quadrilateral coalition which is aimed at ensuring a free and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. The other two members of the Quad are Japan and the US.
In her comments, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne emphasised on the coronavirus pandemic response and recovery efforts.
She said the developing nations across the Indo-Pacific are facing various challenges including on the economic front in view of the pandemic.
Payne also touched upon issues like challenges to rules-based global, sustainability of the oceans, climate change and strategic competition being witnessed in several parts of the globe.
She also talked about the challenging situation in Myanmar following the February 1 coup and emphasised the need for democratic transition in that country.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian underlined the need for adopting a pragmatic approach in forging deeper cooperation among the three nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
He also referred to continuing efforts in tackling the financing of terrorism.