India is playing a major role in the strategy of US imperialism for establishing its domination over the whole of Asia.
In a speech in April 2018 titled The Indo Pacific strategy, Alex Wong, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau at the State Department made the following points:
“Turn your attention to the term “Indo-Pacific.” It’s significant that we use this term. Before, people used the term Asia Pacific […] but we’ve adopted this phrase for two reasons, and it’s significant for two reasons. Number one, it acknowledges the […] current-day reality that South Asia, and in particular India, plays a key role in the Pacific and in East Asia and in Southeast Asia. […] Secondly, it is in our interest, the US interest, …. that India play an increasingly weighty role in the region. It is a nation that can bookend and anchor the free and open order in the Indo-Pacific region, and it’s our policy to ensure that India does play that role.”
The Indo Pacific refers to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, It covers all the countries in the region from the East Coast of Africa to the West Coast of America. India and the US are to form the two bookends (India in the west and the US in the east). India’s role is to assist the US in establishing its domination over Asia.
The US is demanding that all countries must open their doors to unrestricted plunder by capitalist monopolies and imperialist states, and follow the prescription of multi party representative democracy. Those countries which do not do so, are branded as being not “free and open”.
Admiral John Aquinilo, on taking up command of the US Pacific Fleet in May 2018, declared: “Nowhere are the stakes of … great-power competition higher than here in the Indo-Pacific”.
The US has shifted the bulk of its armed forces to the Indo Pacific region as part of its pivot to Asia policy. The deployment of its forces in the South China Sea have increased in strength and frequency, with deliberate Freedom of Navigation (FON) exercises carried out within 12-miles of China’s islands. These are acts of provocation against China. They are in violation of a law upheld by China and many other countries including India, which require that permission is taken from the host country before war ships enter their Exclusive Economic Zone, defined as 200 km from their coastline. The US has been instigating India and other countries against China.
In a speech delivered at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 18, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said
“…very substantial portion of India’s interests now lie to the East of India, beyond the Indian Ocean and into the Pacific one.” Further on, he said “Simply put, the separation of the Pacific from the Indian Ocean was a direct outcome of American strategic dominance since 1945. As the power distribution has diversified in the last two decades, changes were inevitable on this score as well. The re-positioning of the US, the rise of China as also of India, the greater external engagement of Japan and Australia, the wider interests of South Korea and indeed, the broader outlook of the ASEAN itself have all contributed to this transformation. …..It is no longer feasible for any one country to assume all the burdens”.
What the Minister means is that India should share part of the “burden” of US imperialism, in maintaining the capitalist imperialist system. It should “share the burden” of preventing people of various countries from establishing their own economic and political systems, and of containing the sphere of influence of China.
China has risen as a major challenger to the US over the past two decades. The US wants to block China’s further advance. To achieve this aim, it views India as one of the most important players. Towards this end, it has been fueling India’s imperialist ambitions, especially towards the east. The Indian monopoly houses are extremely excited about their prospects of increasing their share of markets and sources of raw materials, and expanding their sphere of influence. They are aiming to do so in collaboration with the US imperialists and in contention with China.
Step by step, over the past two decades, the US imperialists have been building and strengthening a military strategic alliance with the Indian ruling class. The US wants to use the territory and people of India against people of other countries of Asia, to realise its aim of bringing the whole of Asia under its domination.
The Indian state has signed a series of military agreements with the US. These agreements open up the possibility of the US using India as a base for their wars in the region. In its pursuit of narrow imperialist aims, India’s ruling class is endangering the sovereignty of the country and peace in the region. It is pursuing a dangerous course which can embroil our people and country in a devastating war.
Even as it strengthens its alliance with the US, the Indian ruling class is maintaining military strategic ties with Russia. The Indian ruling class sees many advantages in maintaining these ties. The Indian Armed Forces has been historically equipped with sophisticated weapons from Russia, and it is dependent on Russia for the maintenance of these weapons systems. Furthermore, by coordinating with Russia, it hopes to advance its interests in the North West of India — Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Central Asian republics. It does not want to destroy its relations with Russia, as demanded by the US. This is reflected in the Indian state refusing to condemn Russia for the war in Ukraine, or imposing sanctions on Russia, as demanded by the US. At the present time, the US is giving a long rope to India, on the front of India-Russia relations. It wants to use India in its aim of isolating and weakening China. The US imperialists are carrying out one provocation after another against China, and they are inciting India to do the same. The course the US is pursuing can result in a war in our region, or another world war.
The Indian ruling class is pursuing a dangerous course. Indian working class and people must oppose India’s participation in the strategy of US imperialism for conquest of Asia. People must demand and fight for India breaking its military strategic alliance with the US.