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PacNet #58 – Finding a Balance in the Indian Ocean Region

The competing maritime claims and confrontations that currently define the Asia-Pacific may represent the future of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The rising prosperity of the Asia-Pacific will mean that the IOR becomes an ever-greater conduit for commercial and energy trading. As the IOR becomes more vital, nations will compete for greater influence throughout the Indian Ocean. This process will require the attention of three established or rising maritime powers: the United States, China, and India. Given the instability that plagues many IOR littoral states and the tense relations between Delhi and Beijing, it will fall to the United States and its strategic allies to maintain IOR stability.