Vietnam had a busy 2020, starting with its chairmanship of ASEAN and ending with the signing of RCEP, and a free trade agreement with the EU. All were completed successfully despite the pandemic, which it also handled well. It has revealed Vietnam’s dexterity and confidence, good management and societal control and raised the country’s global profile.
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Gateway House was part of a delegation of scholars that recently visited China and interacted with Chinese scholars and universities across Beijing, Chengdu and Kunming. It provided a better understanding of China’s perspectives and concerns on key geopolitical and geoeconomic issues
Six months after Malaysia’s parliamentary elections, its domestic affairs are still untidy. The government is combating corruption, but not bringing in constitutional reform. A successor’s name is not emerging clearly either. But Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad’s foreign relations priorities – principally, Japan and China – are in order
Malaysia is in the eye of a different power game today. Fifteen years ago when Mahathir’s last tenure as prime minister ended, the United States loomed over the Asia-Pacific and Malaysia. Today it is an unlikely leader and Mahathir inherits a China-dominated Indo-Pacific and vexed internal politics. What changes in foreign policy will this entail?
In two years, the Modi government’s Act East Policy has gone well beyond the focus on economic ties of its predecessor, the Look East Policy. It has made progress on many wider fronts, including connectivity and defence collaboration. India must now build on this success and further consolidate relations and trade links with ASEAN and beyond
India’s relations with Islamic nations, many of which are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have become even more prolific over the last decade. While India does not visualise becoming a member of a religious international body, many reasons militate against our formally joining the OIC.
As India and the world welcome the recent democratization of Myanmar, this presents India an opportunity to increase its access to South East Asian countries as well, especially with members of ASEAN which still have catching up to do – particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Amidst myriad country groupings that already exist – BRICS, IBSA, APEC, SCO and many others – a new initiative in the Pacific is looking to integrate more powerful countries to form a multilateral free trade agreement – the Trans Pacific Partnership. How important is this towards the reshaping of trade and power?
The turbulent waters of the South China Sea may soon see a major addition: an aircraft carrier, from China. The carrier - already seventy percent complete - is sure to change the equation and further Beijing's Four Modernisations programme.
The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games was a moment to celebrate the economic progress of the world's largest democracy, and showcase India's tradition and diversity in all its finery