Myanmar’s first democratically elected government in decades completes a year this month, but it has not won widespread appreciation on many counts. Critics have highlighted the areas of darkness, but ignored its many achievements
Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is a Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme at Gateway House. As Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) from 2012-15, he played a key role in strengthening India's Track-II research and outreach activities. During a 37-year innings in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), he served as Ambassador to Myanmar and Mexico and as High Commissioner to Kenya and South Africa. He dealt with a part of South Asia, while posted as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. A prolific columnist, he also delivers lectures on foreign policy issues in India and abroad. He was Senior Visiting Research Fellow during 2011-13 at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. He holds a Masters degree in political science from Allahabad University. His book India-Myanmar Relations: Changing contours (Routledge) has received critical acclaim.
Myanmar, East Asia, South Asia, Indian Ocean, Africa, Regional Groupings, Indian Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
Last modified: April 20, 2017
Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India earlier this week produced many tangible outcomes, but left some thorny issues unresolved, which may test the two nations’ political and diplomatic capabilities
This regional grouping of 10 nations, which observes its golden jubilee year in 2017, has come a long way from the Cold War era when it was founded, making a significant contribution to peace, security and prosperity. Now, its future prospects and “centrality” look uncertain amidst the region’s changing geopolitics
One is an advanced economy, the other an emerging one, and yet they share a striking complementarity of interests—from democracy and liberal values to a history of cordial relations. But two important economic agreements remain as chasms to be bridged
The two decade-old Indian Ocean Rim Association holds its first ever summit next week. Maritime safety and security in the region is a paramount concern as also enhanced trade, but will the Blue Economy be included as a priority? Another area of concern is devising modalities for cooperation with dialogue partners, such as the United States, China and Japan
The optimal potential of the India-Indonesia relationship remains untapped. The Eminent Persons’ Group has advised the two governments to elevate the existing relationship to a “New Comprehensive Strategic Partnership”. Will practice follow precept?
The Indo-Pacific region is home to some of the largest and most rapidly growing economies as also powerful military forces. Nuclear threats, international terrorism and climate change are some of the issues that define the region. Uncertainty dogs relations among the four nations in the top league—U.S., China, India and Japan—but what is emerging is a hawkish, policy stance from the U.S. as opposed to an isolationist outlook apprehended earlier
Even nearly 70 years after independence, the people of Myanmar are struggling to complete nation-building and resolve the Rohingya issue. Is the million-strong community an ethnic group native to Myanmar or is it of South Asian origin, and, therefore, a part of Bangladesh? Evading the issue may not hasten national reconciliation
The first ever summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, to be held in Indonesia in March 2017, will cast light on how India and other like-minded nations can develop oceanic resources sustainably. This event offers scope for India to mould outcomes
The year 2017 may change some equations in the East Asian region. Will the near parity that the U.S. and China currently share turn into a keener contest? Will strained relations between India and China persist? Donald Trump’s election as the next U.S. president casts the spotlight squarely on these inter-state relationships