The 35th summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations, held in Bangkok early in November, showed that a shifting geostrategic landscape notwithstanding, “ASEAN centrality” in the region is a top priority with members. It also served as a backdrop for three summits that ASEAN held on November 4 with China, U.S. and India
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There have been mixed reactions to India’s not signing on to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. India is often criticised for abstaining from trade agreements and being a protectionist nation, but in fact, the reverse is true. The country’s trade to GDP ratio of 43% is higher than China’s 38% and the U.S.’ 27%. This shows how important trade is for India, particularly if it wants to reach the 2024 goal of being a $5- trillion economy.
Canada, which has been slow to respond to a changing trans-Pacific neighbourhood, can join India and the ASEAN member states to embark on a trilateral dialogue on the Indo-Pacific’s importance in terms of political, strategic and other domains. An alignment in outlook can strengthen the security and prosperity of a region, currently mired in U.S.-China rivalries
The following remarks were given by Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House as a speaker at the ASEAN-India Business Summit on November 27, 2018.
India and Brunei have a 34-year-old diplomatic relationship; but as yet no Indian president or prime minister has paid the country a bilateral visit to strengthen these ties. The strategically-located nation is rich in its history, with a unique political system. Its foreign policy approach is non-controversial, yet noticeably pragmatic.
The following remarks were given by Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House as chair at the Inauguration of the Centre for Vietnam Studies in New Delhi on May 15, 2018
Zeti Akhar Aziz, economic advisor to newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Bin Mohamad, believes that economic policy should be rooted in moral and religious ideas
India and the world have watched China’s growing investment in Asia and beyond with a mix of awe and apprehension. The unprecedented scale of these investments are reshaping political arrangements around South Asia.
Internal political constraints dog it currently, but if overcome, South Africa can be a good chairman to BRICS and IORA in 2018. It also has a tough balancing act to perform between two great Asian powers, China and India
China has expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean Region. President Xi Jinping has abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s conciliatory posture for an aggressive, money-fuelled search for super power status