NEW DELHI: Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla n Tuesday called the Indo-Pacific the “21st century’s locus of political and security concerns and competition for growth and development and of technology incubation”, even as stressed on freedom of navigation and respect for sovereignty of all states in the region.

Speaking at the Policy Exchange in London, a think tank believed to be influential in the Boris Johnson government, Shringla explained India’s Indo-Pacific policy, as one that “depends on securing end-to-end supply chains in the region; no disproportionate dependence on a single country; and ensuring prosperity for all stakeholder nations. An Indo-Pacific guided by norms and governed by rules, with freedom of navigation, open connectivity and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states”.

On the last leg of his European tour, Shringla focused on a subject that has been the running thread in all his discussions in Paris and Berlin. Germany has just announced its own guidelines for Indo-Pacific, following France, which has an active Indo-Pacific policy.

Shringla’s speech focused on the shift in the “economic trajectory from the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific”. “The rise of China and the imperative for a global rebalancing have added to the mix. A rules-based international order is achievable only with a rules-based Indo-Pacific,” he said.

He dwelt on India’s role as a net security provider in the region, like in peacekeeping or anti-piracy missions, or in the recent instance of containing oil spill off Mauritius.

“The Indo-Pacific is a network of partnerships and groupings such as Quad, with India, the United States, Japan and Australia as participants, and the India-Japan-US, India-France-Australia and India-Indonesia-Australia trilateral arrangements,” he said. “India’s Indo-Pacific geography can perhaps be best described as a succession of semi-circles. The innermost semi-circle incorporates our closest neighbours. These are South Asian countries that share with us the waters of the Indian Ocean, that have shared our civilizational and cultural heritage, and by way of proximity, inevitably share our joys and our sorrows. The arc of the outer neighbourhood covers the Gulf states to our west and Southeast Asia and the ASEAN countries to our east,” he added.

India’s Indo-Pacific strategy, Shringla said, consists of “partnerships and mechanisms with countries whose opportunities, concerns and stakes intersect with ours”.

He said this stretches from “the Pacific Islands to the archipelagos of the western Indian Ocean and off the eastern coast of Africa”.