The vast Indo-Pacific region presents countless opportunities being home to many of the world’s most innovative economies as well as a manufacturing heavyweight which occupies an indispensable role in the international global supply chains. In the last decade, strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific has become a critical US national security issue and, in the backdrop of COVID-19 increasing pressure on the global order, it will remain so for the foreseeable future. China, currently the secondlargest economy globally, is on track to overtake the US by 2030 to become the world’s largest economy. The rise of China as the potential challenger to the US-led Western dominance has signaled the return of great power competition in the international order. Despite the absence of an official Indo-Pacific strategy, there is much that can already be discerned about the Biden administration s approach to the region. Case in point being the formation of AUKUS in September 2021 between the US, UK and Australia. The essence of the strategic competition between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region is focused on the US’s attempts to decouple from China to deny it easy access to critical technologies and markets. On the other hand, through its multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China is working to dominate Eurasia and the Asia- Pacific to create a Sino-centric global economic order. This article will analyze the recent increase in strategic competition between the US and China in the Indo-Pacific region through the lens of neo-realism. It will also outline the US’s Indo Pacific Policy as well as China’s response. It will then assess the impact of the Sino-US rivalry in the Indi-Pacific region on South Asia.
1. Introduction & Literature Review
2. Theoretical Framework
3. US and the Indo-Pacific
4. New Alliances – AUKUS & Quad 2.0
5. Chinese Reaction to US attempts
6. Impact on South Asia
7. Implications for Pakistan