Jagran Explainer: What is Indo-Pacific Economic Framework that aims to counter China?

The IPEF is somewhat similar to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an initiative by former US President Donald Trump. It aims to offer an alternative to the US allies to China's growing commercial presence in the Indo-Pacific.

By Aalok Sensharma
Updated: Mon, 23 May 2022 08:10 PM IST
Minute Read
Jagran Explainer: What is Indo-Pacific Economic Framework that aims to counter China?

Tokyo (Japan) | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with US President Joe Biden and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, participated in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) event - a United States-led initiative - in Tokyo ahead of the Quad Summit.

During the event, Biden once again pushed for a "free, open and secure" Indo-Pacific where economic growth is sustainable and inclusive. "We'll do that by taking out some of the most acute challenges that drag down growth and by maximising the potential of our strongest growth engines," Biden said in his brief address.

What is IPEF?

Biden had sowed the seeds of IPEF at the East Asia summit in October last year. Then, Biden had said that the US and its partners will look for ways for the "development of an Indo-Pacific economic framework that will define our shared objectives around trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply chain resiliency, decarbonization and clean energy, infrastructure, worker standards, and other areas of shared interest."

The IPEF is somewhat similar to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an initiative by former US President Donald Trump that Washington discontinued. It aims to offer an alternative to the US allies to China's growing commercial presence in the Indo-Pacific, allowing them to ensure greater economic engagement.

Here it is noteworthy to mention that the US has not officially said that the platform will try to China's economic rise in the region.

Who will be able to join it?

The US has said that IPEF will be an open platform. However, Taiwan - which China claims to be its own - has been excluded from the pact. The US has said that "any trade talks with Taiwan would be done one to one."

"We are looking to deepen our economic partnership with Taiwan including on high technology issues, including on semiconductor supply... But we’re pursuing that in the first instance on a bilateral basis," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

How has China reacted?

China has sharply criticised the IPEF and said that an agreement under it could be an "exclusive clique" that could lead to greater turmoil in the Indo-Pacific. On Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said US's initiatives to contain China are "doomed to fail" and asked if the IPEF is forcing countries to pick a side between Washington and Beijing.

"Is the US trying to accelerate the recovery of the world economy, or is it creating economic decoupling, technological blockade, industrial chain disruption, and aggravating the supply chain crisis," Wang was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.

"A few years ago, the US launched the trade war with China, which brought serious consequences to the world and to the US. The lessons are profound. The US should know its mistakes and correct them, rather than repeating mistakes," Wang added.

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