Memo: India key to U.S. plan in Indo-Pacific, counter to China

Declassified US documents on Indo-Pacific see India as ‘net security provider’, focus on intel sharing

Declassified US documents on Indo-Pacific see India as ‘net security provider’, focus on intel sharing

Days before leaving office, the Trump administration has declassified an internal document on its Indo-Pacific strategy that shows the principles under which it operated.

Noting that it is a serious breach of the US government's solemn commitment on Taiwan to China, Zhao said there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. The document, which runs into 10 pages, was recently declassified in part by US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien.

While other objectives of the strategy did not come to fruition, like a denuclearized Korean peninsula, military cooperation between the USA and India is something that has increased since Trump signed off on the document.

The top national security challenge noted in the document is China.

In hard power, it says, Washington should devise a defense strategy that can deny Beijing dominance inside the "first island chain", which includes Taiwan, Okinawa and the Philippines; defend "nations" within the chain, explicitly naming Taiwan; and dominate areas outside the chain. For comparison's sake, the American trade deficit with China is United States dollars 345.2 billion.

■ "Enable Taiwan to develop an effective asymmetric defense strategy and capabilities that will help ensure its security, freedom from coercion, resilience, and ability to engage China on its own terms".

But lo and behold, the strategic framework literally starts off by describing America's main "national security challenge" in the following way: "How to maintain US strategic primacy in the Indo-Pacific region and promote a liberal economic order while preventing China from establishing new, illiberal spheres of influence, while cultivating areas of cooperation to promote regional peace and prosperity?"

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Washington has revealed its "malign intention" regarding its Indo-Pacific strategy.

On its way out Trump administration reveals policy to counter China with support to India | India News- Times of India

It also makes clear the U.S. is committed to defending first-island-chain nations and territories, including Taiwan.

Interestingly, one of the US' "assumptions" is that "A strong India, in cooperation with like-minded countries, would act as a counterbalance to China".

Asserting that India and United States have a common interest in promoting security and prosperity in Indo-Pacific region, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that the ability of two countries to work together has a positive impact in effectively addressing the regional and global challenges.

The framework also seeks to work with India and Japan to help finance projects that enhance regional connectivity between India and countries of the region.

On North Korea, the USA objective listed in the document is to "Maximize pressure on Pyongyang to convince the Kim regime that the only path to its survival is to relinquish its nuclear weapons".

■ "Maximize pressure on Pyongyang using economic, diplomatic, military, law enforcement, intelligence, and information tools to cripple North Korea's weapons of mass destruction programs, choke off currency flows, weaken the regime, and set the conditions for negotiations aimed at reversing its nuclear and missile programs, ultimately achieving the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Peninsula".

The document was declassified 30 years earlier than it normally would be, according to Australia Broadcasting Corp.

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