Noting the rising challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Friday said the world is witnessing a race for strategic bases in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), adding that it is only going to gain momentum in the times to come.
"Of late along with geostrategic competition in the Indo-Pacific, we are also witnessing a race for strategic places and bases in the Indian Ocean region which is only going to gain momentum in the times to come," General Rawat said while delivering a keynote address at the Global Dialogue Security Summit.
Speaking on the theme of "Contesting the Indo Pacific for Global Domination", CDS Rawat said, "In the military field, technology must be a means of deterrence not a source of destruction. Our approach to security hence needs to shift from unilateral to the multilateral mode which mandates increasing training engagements with partner nations in order to fortify the future."
He said that based on the challenges that India face, "we require structured long term planning for capacity building and capability development of our defence forces."
On the issue of India's geostrategic needs in the IOR, General Rawat said: "We need to maintain strategic autonomy, cooperative relations with extra-regional powers, underscored by strong regional linkages that would provide us with a greater degree of strategic leverage."
"We need to build upon other and bilateral, trilateral and multilateral mechanism like 'JAI' that is Japan, Australia, and India, like India-ASEAN and other already existing mechanisms to have the right balance in our strategic autonomy," CDS Rawat said.
"The economic centre of gravity is shifting and will continue to shift in this century. And with the major global supply chain passing through the region, Indo Pacific in general and Indian Ocean Region, in particular, will remain vital for transit and world trade," he added.
Summing up his address CDS Rawat said that "this is India's century. Many across the world are bullish about India. It has the talent demographic dividend and vibrancy of the culture."