South Asia and Beyond

“India Incredibly Important In Indo-Pacific & Beyond As Organic Model That’s Not Chinese Or Western”

NEW DELHI: On ‘The Gist‘, Cleo Paskal, Senior Non-Resident Fellow, focusing on the Indo-Pacific region at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies(FDD) in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.

“Look at a map,” Cleo Paskal points out and it is clear China “while focusing on Taiwan is leapfrogging to the Pacific Islands so they can squeeze it from both sides. In the process, if they can get that middle part of the Pacific, they can push the U.S. back to Hawaii. This is Japan’s World War II map of the region. And China has captured the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal without firing a shot”. That’s why she is adamant, “India is incredibly important for many other countries in the region and beyond. To say, look, there is a model that isn’t the western model. That isn’t the Chinese model. That is something that is kind of more organic and of the region”. The expert on the Pacific Islands says, “the first thing is to disaggregate and look at them on their own terms. Then you can figure out how India fits in. It’s things like healthcare, education opportunities, and potential transportation links that would create the economic substrata that can support a healthy society. And that makes it much more difficult both for Chinese corrosive influence or what’s been happening on the Australian side, for example, to distort the regional politics”, she says.

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Watch or listen to this in-person interview for more on why Cleo Paskal feels Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to the region in 2014 was crucial and his reported visit to Papua New Guinea in 2023 will be critical.