In principle, India supports democracy everywhere, but is also committed to non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. But instability in Myanmar could trigger support for insurgency in India's North east, which is now on the path to progress. Accelerating the completion of India’s development cooperation projects in Myanmar will send a positive signal for regional stability.
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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
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 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.
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
The crippling effect of American sanctions are thorough; designed to strangle economies and bring entire nations to a halt. However, they unknowingly pull people together, imparting a deep sense of patriotism and often sparking innovation which can quickly surpass any other world power. With sanctions being lifted on nations like Myanmar, Iran and, hopefully, Cuba, the question remains whether they will retain their uniqueness or fall into line with the rest?
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
The India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in services and trade will allow India to leverage its competitive offerings in IT, finance, among other fields. But the pact has proved elusive so far due to the open squabbling between ministries. The deal now looks set to come through only after the new government takes over