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Trump's Indo-Pacific concept reflects China's growing influence in India Ocean

The Indo-Pacific concept US President Donald Trump keeps talking about during his ongoing tour of Asia indicates that China's influence is expanding to the Indian Ocean, according to a Chinese expert.

"During his Asia trip, Trump replaced Obama's Asia-Pacific policy with the Indo-Pacific concept, which means the US plans to contain China in the Indian Ocean," said Qian Liyan, an international relations expert in China.

After he took power in early 2017, Trump came up with the idea of Indo-Pacific, a region that was less strategically important than the Asia-Pacific region in the era of Obama.

The creation of the Indo-Pacific concept shows that Trump is making his own policy toward Asia, which attaches importance to the signing of bilateral trade agreements and the suppression of North Korea's nuclear ambition, said Qian.

The Indian Ocean is of great importance to China as the region is covered by Beijing-led Belt and Road initiative, which the US sees as a tool to increase Chinese influence.

"In the past, the US believed that it could contain China within the Asia-Pacific region and even East Asia by means of the island chain. But with the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative, China shows clearer intention to protect its maritime interests. That is the reason why the US is considering strengthening deployments in the Indian Ocean," said Qian.

Most importantly, the Indian Ocean is an important waterway for China's energy transportation, noted Qian.

However, the Chinese expert deemed that the adoption of the Indo-Pacific policy shows the decline of the American hegemony.

It is predictable that after Trump put forward the Indo-Pacific concept, the tensions over the South China Sea would intensify, said Qian.

"Once the US begins implementing the Indo-Pacific policy, Japan is likely to use the opportunity to seek rearmament like a normal state."

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