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Pivot to Asia doctrine & China’s South China Sea activism shaping the meeting between Xi and Obama

Sep 17, 2015 10:04 IST

Pivot to Asia doctrine: Policy of the US administration for more enhanced and pro-active engagement with the Asia Pacific region.

The term Pivot to Asia or alternatively called as Pivot to Pacific or Pivot to Asia-Pacific was in news in the third week of September 2015 as the administrations of the USA and China are gearing up for the summit level talks in the White House.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet Barack Obama, the President of the USA, during his four day meeting to the USA starting from 22 September 2015.

Pivot to Asia-Pacific refers to the policy of Obama administration that calls for more enhanced and pro-active engagement with the Asia Pacific region. It was announced in 2011.

Under the policy, one of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will be to lock in a substantially increased investment—diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise—in the Asia-Pacific region.

Policy wise, it was nothing but a shift from extensive engagement of the country with the trouble ridden Middle East and the South Asia regions to more stable and peaceful Asia-Pacific region.

As per the USA, the new strategy is necessary to sustain its global leadership in the strategic, political and economic spheres as the region has become the hub of the global economy.

However, there are apprehensions in some quarters that the policy is primarily aimed at curtailing the ‘Rising China’ that is set to overtake the USA position as the world’s largest economy in the coming years.

The USA’s deepening engagement with India, growing military presence in the Pacific region, stiff opposition to China’s assertion in the South China Sea are also seen as the USA’s efforts to rebalance its relations vis- a- vis China and the region as a whole.

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