At a time when the US is giving more attention to Asia-Pacific in what Washington calls “pivot” or “rebalance” in its relations with the region, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday described the shifting of strategic focus from west to east as a development “fraught with uncertainty.”
The “rebalance” is a priority for the Obama administration, which is fine tuning its foreign policy to counter Chinese ambitions in region.
Addressing the country’s top military commanders, Singh said it was unclear at this stage if the strategic and economic transitions, exemplified by the increasing contestation in the seas to India’s east, would be peaceful.
China has disapproved of the shift in American foreign policy to step up engagement in the region, as Beijing believes the exercise is aimed at containing it.
Singh also advised the military leadership to exercise prudence in defence acquisition plans and “cut our coat according to our cloth,” indicating that the country may be forced to cut down military spending due to the current economic slowdown.