DPG Indo-Pacific Monitor

Indo Pacific Monitor

Date: February 01, 2024

The Middle East conflict, and continuing disruption of sea lanes across the Arabian and Red Seas by Yemen’s Houthis, occupied centre stage during January 2024.  The Indian Navy significantly stepped up its deployments to the region.  The US continued with Operation Prosperity Guardian, and re-designated Ansarallah as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Group, but Houthi attacks persisted.

Election outcomes in two island nations cast their shadow on Indo-Pacific great power competition.  In the Western Pacific, the victory of the Democratic Progressive Party’s William Lai provided a shot in the arm for the US and its allies and a setback to China.  In the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, who had assumed the Presidency in November 2023, upgraded his country’s relations with China to a comprehensive strategic partnership, posing a fresh challenge to India’s neighbourhood policies and the maritime domain awareness architecture in the Central Indian Ocean.

Outcomes of incoming Head of Government-level visits from the UAE and France spoke of the rapid and continuing progress in India’s relations with both countries.   The maiden India-France-UAE Air Force Exercise Desert Knight was held during the month.

Three new exercises marked the expansion of India’s military diplomacy.  First was the maiden Exercise Ayutthaya, between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy, conducted in end-December 2023.   Next was the first India-UAE military exercise, which took place in Rajasthan from January 2-15, 2024.  The maiden India-Saudi Arabia military exercise commenced in Rajasthan on January 29 and will continue till mid-February 2024.   India also participated in the multinational Exercise Sea Dragon at Guam from January 10-22, 2024.

The IMF upgraded its estimate for India’s GDP growth in 2023 from 6.3% to 6.7%.  It forecast India’s growth for 2024 and 2025 would be 6.5%, maintaining its status as the world’s fastest growing major economy.  World GDP was projected to grow 3.1% in 2024 and 3.2% in 2025. 

Nauru transferred recognition from Taiwan to China.  USS John Finn carried out a routine Taiwan Strait transit on January 24. 

Germany and Japan signed an agreement for reciprocal provision of logistics support and services on January 29.

These and other developments are covered in this Indo-Pacific Monitor Vol. V, Issue 1.

To read about them, please see the PDF attached.