TPF Discussion # 03 : Maritime Security In Indo-Pacific Region
A formal interactive session on Maritime Security was organized in The Peninsula Foundation (TPF), Chennai on September 11, 2019 in collaboration with the United States Consulate, Chennai. The Consulate facilitated the visit of Mr Geoffrey Wessels, Officer for Trade and Connectivity, US Embassy, New Delhi. He was accompanied by Ms Sara Greengrass, Economic Officer, US Consulate, Chennai and Mr George Mathew, Economic Specialist, US Consulate, Chennai. The meeting was aimed to gather perspectives on security challenges faced in the Indo-Pacific region.
Various recent geopolitical developments relating to maritime security, especially in the Indian Ocean Region, were discussed. Development of India’s relations with ASEAN countries and New Delhi’s need to ensure safety in the sea were explored. There was consensus on the concerns against China’s consistent rise in the Asia Pacific and its practice of debt-trap strategy, as in Sri Lanka, while implementing its ambitious One Belt – One Road project across Asia, and the need for India’s maritime security to be prioritized. Ms Sara stressed on environment security in the Indian Ocean due to overfishing and initiatives of USA to minimize maritime non-conventional threats to India. Primarily, the discussion aimed at finding a common ground between India and the US to deal with China. Representatives of TPF elaborated about their perspectives on Beijing and commented on possible collaboration between India and the USA. The session was informative and fruitful; we thank the US consulate for the arrangement and encourage such interactions in the future.