During a ceremony at Pearl Harbour, on 30 May 2018, the US Defense Secretary, James Mattis, announced that the US PaCom (literally the US Command in the Pacific) was to become the US IndoPaCom.
The General did not seek to clarify the reasons for this change. All he said was that the area that the Command would cover would include both the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
Admiral Harry Harris, the outgoing commander of this CoCom (Unified Command for Combat), has specified that “the time when big powers compete with each other had returned. In the Indo-Pacific region, a geopolitical race between two visions (one liberal and the other oppressive) has taken one off”.
It seems that the Pentagon was making reference to the Chinese plan for “new silk routes” (Belt & Road Initiative) and the Chinese strategy of “the string of pearls”, an attempt to contain India.