Amid of tension arise between US military and china along South-China Sea, US signals India’s importance by changing the oldest and the largest military command, the Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific command.
At the command ceremony in headquarter at Hawaii, James Mattis, secretary of Defence said, “In recognition of the increasing connectivity, the Indian and Pacific oceans, today we rename the US Pacific Command to Indo-Pacific Command”.
This is not the first time when India is giving a significant place by the US. Earlier, in the Barack Obama’s government, India was granted as the ‘Major Defence Partner’ status thus providing for transfer of technology and deeper cooperation in the defence sector.
India and US signed logistics defence agreement thus allowing each other’s military to get access to assets, basis for repair and replenishment of supplies in 2016.
Earlier, the Trump administration has renamed the Asia Pacific region as Indo-Pacific and considered India as one of the bookend of the region.
Mattis talked about this command by saying that, “It is our primary combatant command, it’s standing watch and intimately engaged with over half of the earth’s surface and its diverse populations, from Hollywood, to Bollywood, from polar bears to penguins”.
While speaking about the One Belt One Road initiative of China, Mattis dig at them by saying that, “For every state, sovereignty is respected, no matter its size and it’s a region open to investment and free, fair and reciprocal trade not bound by any nation’s predatory economics or threats of coercion, for the Indo-Pacific has many belts and many roads”.
The US move to rename the name as Indo-Pacific command comes as result of the China’s measures of raising tension along the South China Sea as they have almost all the claims on it while countries like Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims on the region.