Oct 17 (ORF) The term Indopazifischer Raum (Indo-Pacific Space) coined by German geopolitical thinker Karl Haushofer in 1920, is perhaps the first academic statement on the Indo-Pacific.
Haushofer observed the marine space interlinking the two-great civilisations in Asia, India and China, although separated by land by the geography of Tibet. Japan in the Indo-Pacific was identified by Haushofer, who contrived the German-Japan axis during World War II, with their similar interest to defeat Britain and the US from the Pacific theatre. The contemporary revival of the term has gained prevalence in geopolitical discourse after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe employed the terminology in his speech to the Indian Parliament in August 2007.
Germany in the Indo-Pacific and Quad German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas explains: “It is already foreseeable today that, more than anywhere else, the shape of tomorrow’s international order will be decided in the Indo-Pacific. Germany should not be an observer and thus play an active role, a rules-based order should be the ethos of the German foreign policy on Indo-Pacific.” For the first time, the German government has released a 70-page strategic policy guideline for the Indo-Pacific. While Germany is not an Indo-Pacific nation, many European states are joining the Indo-Pacific axis for enormous trade potential in Asia, a departure from the Atlantic axis. Thus, the EU perceive China as a systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance.
China’s involvement in island states has grown considerably, and Sri Lanka is a clear example in this regard having received a large number of loans from China.Today, the Quad (India, Japan, US, and Australia) is being institutionalised and possibly broad-based to include more partners with a special focus on upholding the rules-based order for a free and open Indo-Pacific. As stated by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the recent Quad meeting in Japan: “The ministers who gathered in Tokyo all came to understand shared threat and the opportunity for us to work together not just diplomatically, but on the economic front to partner to fight back against Beijing.” It is a fact that China’s investments and presence in the Indian Ocean have increased, and there is no economic and financial match for Beijing in the present day. China’s involvement in island states has grown considerably, and Sri Lanka is a clear example in this regard having received a large number of loans from China. Secretary Pompeo will visit Sri Lanka towards the end of the month and is certain to align Sri Lanka with the rules-based order of the Indo-Pacific along with India, directly targeting Chinese predatory infrastructure projects.