CHENNAI: The jostle for power and control over the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific Ocean will become the point of focus at a conference on maritime trade and security that will begin on Tuesday.
The conference, set to see participation of experts from various stakeholder States in the Indo-Pacific region, is being jointly organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and the Stimson Centre, both strategic policy think tanks, based in India and the USA respectively, in association with the US Consulate in Chennai.
The 3-day conference will see a number of voices sharing their opinions on maritime trade and security, such as Coast Guard (East) Commander Inspector General SP Sharma, US Consul General Jennifer McIntyre, Australian strategic affairs expert David Brewster.
Experts from both the organising think tanks tiptoed around the nature of withdrawing US influence in the Indian Ocean, even as they stressed that a ‘jostle for power’ is currently underway in the Indo-Pacific region.
Even while they named China, Japan, India and Australia as players with a role in the geopolitical scenario, they recalled incidents of both conflict and cooperation. “There is no morality in international relations, and everything that is done for national interest,” said PK Ghosh, a senior fellow with the ORF.
He conceded that efforts towards the creation of an international organisation to help coordinate and maintain maritime security had not borne fruit, and that such a move would be crucial to future scenarios.