Geopolitical challenges call for a strong regional framework

Geopolitical challenges call for a strong regional framework

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The two-day conference is jointly organized by the Foreign Ministries of Bangladesh and India, along with India Foundation Singapore’s S Rajaratnam School of International Studies. On Friday, the first day of the conference, there were four theme-based sessions.

Former Deputy National Security Advisor of India, Pankaj Saran moderated the third session on ‘Rise of a Peaceful Indo-Pacific for a Resilient Global Future’.

The former Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka said the Indian Ocean Conference is being held at a time when Bangladesh can prepare to play a role in the region. For many years and for various reasons, Bangladesh was reluctant to speak about the Indian Ocean region. That’s why Bangladesh is giving an important message by organizing this event in Dhaka. It remains to be seen how regional cooperation complements national efforts.

According to Pankaj Saran, there was a time when many questions were raised about the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), its objectives, who was behind it, etc. That phase is over and now many countries have accepted IPS in their own perspective. The overall objective of IPS is inclusive. The IPS is recognized as a legitimate geographic and political framework for the Indo-Pacific region.

Pankaj Saran said that the Indo-Pacific Outlook released by Bangladesh two weeks ago is interesting. It is important for the region that Bangladesh finalizes this approach and makes it public.

David Brewster, Senior Fellow at the National Security College of the Australian National University, said there is a clear competition between the US, China and India, focusing on the Indo-Pacific region. China with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is influencing countries that are not economically stable. This contributes to economic and political unrest in those countries.

David Brewster gave the example of the crisis in Maldives in 2018 and Sri Lanka in 2022. He said that Pakistan was on the verge of a similar crisis with the China-Pakistan Corridor (CPEC).

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