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In a largely symbolic move aimed at reflecting new national priorities, the Pentagon is changing the name of the Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command.
"Relationships with our Pacific and Indian Pacific allies and partners have proved critical to maintaining regional stability," said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in prepared remarks in Hawaii with the USS Arizona Memorial.
"Recognizing the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, today we rename the US Pacific Command to US Indo-Pacific Command."
Secretary James N. Mattis, Secretary for @ DeptOfDefense announces the renaming of the US Pacific Command in US Indo-Pacific Command to address the increasing connectivity between the Indian & Pacific Oceans and America's commitment to the #IndoPacific to recognize! pic.twitter.com/PXk8eeRoWW
– US Pacific Command (@PacificCommand) May 30, 2018
Mattis made the announcement during a leadership change in which US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson the successor started outgoing adm. Harry Harris. Harris was nominated as US ambassador to South Korea.
According to The Associated Press, "the change" brings no fundamental changes in troops, military missions or other activities of the Pentagon.
The change comes with the internal designation early in the Trump government's region as the "Indo-Pacific" instead of the "Asia-Pacific" terminology long a convention in US diplomatic circles.
In April said the deputy US Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, Alex Wong, reporters the use of The term Indo-Pacific "recognizes the historical reality and current reality that South Asia and India in particular play a key role" in the Pacific, East Asia and Southeast Asia.
"It has been like that for thousands of years, and it's true today," said Wong of the Press Trust of India.
Li Gang / AP
In 2016, the US and India signed a Logistics Exchange Agreement that strengthened their mutual security relations and made it easier for the two countries to conduct joint military operations. India's NDTV writes that the agreement aims to counter China's "growing maritime confidence."
"The United States also wants to tap into India's large [defense] market, which has emerged as India's No. 2 weapon supplier, with $ 15 billion worth of deals completed in the last decade," said NDTV.
As India The Economic Times recently noted, "Although Russia remained by far India's largest arms salesman, its share of total imports has fallen. The share of Indian arms imports over the past five years has dropped from 79 percent in 2008-2012 from the report on the worldwide arms trade. "