NEW DELHI: As it turns the Indo-Pacific from concept to reality, India will be hosting East Asian Summit countries to discuss maritime security cooperation in Chennai beginning Thursday this week.
Explaining the policy, Vikram Doraiswami, additional secretary in foreign ministry told a think-tank on Monday that India sees Indo-Pacific as a non-binary, less contested space which will increase India’s diplomatic space. Describing the seven pillars of India’s Indo-Pacific policy, he listed them as “maritime domain awareness, marine environment, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, sustainable use of maritime resources, science and technology, capacity building, maritime transportation and trade.”
“We are looking at creating loose, cooperation-friendly and structure-lite mechanisms that help us move the Indo-Pacific from an idea to something far more real. We’re broadening the concept to include economic and environmental issues,” he said, which have a direct bearing on peoples’ lives.
As per an MEA statement, the Indo-Pacific conference in Chennai will feature about 100 participants, including 50 from EAS countries. “Officials and experts from the EAS-participating countries will deliberate upon various aspects of maritime security cooperation under five thematic sessions; namely Holistic Maritime Security, Maritime Safety, Transition to a Regional Blue Economy, India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative and the Way Forward. These sessions will be interactive in nature.”
The conference is being organised by India, Australia and Indonesia jointly. “The conference is expected to serve as a platform for free and open dialogue among all the EAS partners on various issues of maritime security cooperation and to come up with suggestions on tackling in a cooperative manner, the challenges in maritime domain,” MEA said.

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