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The use of “Indo-Pacific” during his trip to Asia many times by US President Donald Trump has given the impression of a strengthening alliance between India and the USA.  The assertion comes in the wake of a gradual policy shift with regards to the Asia region where India is becoming the main ally of the declining superpower.

It was observed that during his first presidential trip to Asia, Donald Trump used a phrase “Indo-Pacific” time and again. All the way through his tour of five countries, Trump made a point of labeling the region the “Indo-Pacific.” This term was in contrast to the terms “Asia” and “Asia-Pacific” used by his predecessors.

Now with both nations under what can be described as “Orderist” premiers, the soil seems to be ripe for an alliance. It can be asserted that the terms “Indo-Pacific” carries a lot more meaning for Indo-US relations.

To many observers, the term revealed the level of importance Washington places on New Delhi. Some experts assert that it plays on the “geographical connection” to the Asia-Pacific region. Others assert that the term underscores the integral part India is playing in the military calculations of the US for Asia.

Read more: Trump administration & regional strategy for South East Asia!

Observers also point out the phrase “free and open Indo-Pacific” used by Trump in his visit to Vietnam. Experts contend that this alludes to an ideological dimension as well as a critique of Chinese actions in the South China Sea. It appears that the US and India are on a path of convergence of interest with regards to the rising power of China.

US attempts to woo India against a potential rival are not new. In fact, that started with the Cold War with both the USSR and the USA trying to get the South Asian nation on their side. Many historians point out that India played both sides gaining military and economic aid. All this time, however, it declared to be a member of a “nonaligned” Third world movement.

The end of the Cold war saw closeness between both the US and India especially after the latter opened its economy. American businesses flocked to India and often outsourced corporate functions to it sparking an economic growth.

Yet even during that period, India time and again collaborated with the US against neighboring China. While once raising the slogan of “Hindi-Chini bhai bhai” (Indian Chinese are brothers), New Delhi began to acquire arms against Beijing after the disastrous 1962 war. The US was ready to supply India with the weapons in order to gain its allegiance at times to the loss of its ally Pakistan. Yet the socialist Nehruvian doctrine that New Delhi followed prevented a full-fledged membership in the Capitalist bloc.

Read more: Trump pressurizing East Asia to accept US policies in region?

The end of the Cold war saw closeness between both the US and India especially after the latter opened its economy. American businesses flocked to India and often outsourced corporate functions to it sparking an economic growth. The rise of the Hindutva fundamentalist BJP provided India with a more amenable way to join the neoliberal world order.

US attempts to woo India against a potential rival are not new. In fact, that started with the Cold War with both the USSR and the USA trying to get the South Asian nation on their side.

However, the so-called “War On Terror” that disrupted the new millennium while providing closeness between the two over “Muslim extremism” also paved a way for archrival Pakistan to go back in the good books of the West. It took time before the rise of the Democrats who have been traditionally Pro Indian for both nations to again follow a path of closeness.

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Now with both nations under what can be described as “Orderist” premiers, the soil seems to be ripe for an alliance. It can be asserted that the terms “Indo-Pacific” carries a lot more meaning for Indo-US relations.

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