Indian Ocean Has Suddenly Become Indo-Pacific

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, during a video speech at a roundtable discussion on the “Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean Outlook,” organized by the Geopolitical Cartographer, stated that the Indian Ocean has suddenly become the Indo-Pacific.

Indian Ocean Has Suddenly Become Indo-Pacific 1

Prior to traveling to India to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration, President Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka discussed how geopolitics and international rivalry have shaped the Indian Ocean region, transforming it into the “Indo-Pacific.”

“Now, the maps are drawn not according to geography, but according to geopolitics. For a long time, we belonged to a region known as the Indian Ocean, and all of a sudden it became the Indo-Pacific. That is [the result of] geopolitical cartography,” said the Sri Lankan president Friday. He was giving a video speech at a roundtable discussion on the “Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean Outlook,” which was organized by the Geopolitical Cartographer, a think tank with its headquarters in Colombo.

This year, from September 17 to October 16, Sri Lanka, a vital ally of India in its neighborhood amidst a growing China, will hold presidential elections.

Wickremesinghe may run for office again, according to local rumors, albeit this is not yet official. Sri Lankans are still very dissatisfied with the Rajapaksa family, who had been in power until July 2022, when the island nation’s economic crisis sparked widespread demonstrations.

In 2017, the phrase “Indo-Pacific” became popular among Japanese and American politicians. Notably, in May 2018, while the US-China competition was growing under the Trump administration, the US “Pacific” Command was renamed the “Indo-Pacific Command.” To confront a developing China, the US, the UK, several important European nations, and Australia have developed a specific “Indo-Pacific” foreign policy plan. For many of them, interacting with India is essential.

The president of Sri Lanka mentioned the influence of geopolitics on European boundaries during his remarks at the roundtable.

“Europe has a problem now of where to draw the boundaries between Russia and Ukraine. It keeps changing and various claims are made. But we have to learn now that cartography depends completely on geopolitics and nothing else,” said Wickremesinghe.

Freedom of navigation, the formation of new strategic alliances, and countering “non-traditional threats” in the Indian Ocean region were among the other topics covered in the roundtable discussion.

Last year, GreatGameIndia reported that according to an unnamed US defense officer who spoke to AP, drone attacks targeted Israeli ships in the Indian Ocean.

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