DPG Indo-Pacific Monitor

Indo Pacific Monitor

Date: November 01, 2022
The Chinese Communist Party concluded its 20th Party Congress on October 22.  A new 205-member Central Committee was elected.  A new Politburo and Politburo Standing Committee were unveiled.  Xi Jinping was able to not only induct his loyalists into the Standing Committee but also ensure that there is no likely opposition to his continuance in power for the foreseeable future.

The long-awaited US National Security Strategy was finally published on October 12.  Premised on the belief that the US has entered a decisive decade that could change the world, the strategy posits two equally important strategic challenges the US must overcome: competition between major powers to reshape the future and transnational challenges including climate change, communicable diseases, terrorism, the energy transition and food insecurity.  It sets three priority objectives: outcompeting China and constraining Russia; cooperation on shared challenges; and shaping the rules of the road in critical and emerging areas such as technology, cyberspace, security, trade and economics.

Two weeks after publication of NSS 2022, the US Department of Defence published its National Defense Strategy (NDS) on October 27.  The NDS includes the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review and the 2022 Missile Defense Review.  The US had earlier published its strategy for the Arctic on October 08, the Biodefense Strategy on October 18 and the US Coast Guard strategy on October 25.

The six-month truce that had been announced with much hope on April 2, 2022 ended on October 2 as all attempts to persuade the warring sides to continue it failed.  An attempted drone attack on an oil tanker at the Al-Dubba oil terminal near Mukalla city on October 21 signalled a return to conflict and the accompanying instability that has characterised the region. 

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at Perth on October 22.  The outcomes included a Joint Statement, a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation for the next decade and a Critical Minerals Partnership.

EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar visited New Zealand and Australia from October 5-11, his first visit to New Zealand and the second to Australia this year.  He also co-chaired the 13th India-Australia Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue.  The visit, following barely a week after the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Harikumar had been to both countries, indicated the growing trajectory of India’s relations in the Southern Pacific.

The user training launch of a K-15 SLBM from INS Arihant on October 14 marked a significant step in the operationalisation of India’s nuclear deterrent.  Coming soon after the commissioning of INS Vikrant last month, the event marks continuing accretion of India’s maritime capability.

In other Indo-Pacific Developments during the month, the US and Canadian Navies exercised together in the South China Sea to support Japan’s Indo-Pacific deployment.  North Korea continued with its MRBM launches, while the UN Security Council approved a sanctions package for Haiti targeting gang leaders and those who finance them.  Exercise Tiger Triumph 2022 was conducted off Visakhapatnam, while the USS Gerald R Ford set out on its maiden operational deployment into the Atlantic more than five years after she was commissioned.