Does India plan to remodel its Andaman & Nicobar Islands as a launching pad for future security operations to check growing Chinese inroads in the Indian Ocean Region? Development of the islands has long been ignored to India’s detriment, and their strategic position in the Indian Ocean, underutilised.
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This year, India's defence diplomacy has ramped up. In 2015 alone there have been 18 military exercises- naval, army and air force- with 13 countries, among the largest engagements the country has had. Most significant is Japan joining the Malabar exercises in the Bay of Bengal and the first-ever maritime exercise with Australia. This is increasing India's presence from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. As these exercises intensify India will be better positioned to handle regional security challenges.
As India celebrates its Independence Day, security situation on eastern borders is gradually moving towards stability with experiments in peace making focused on resolving insurgencies and border management. These experiments coupled with the sub-regional economic initiatives potentially put eastern region on the path of prosperity.
The government's media rhetoric and aggrandisement is doing more harm than good to its reputation. It seems intent upon proving right the age-old adage, pride goes before a fall.
China is reportedly taking advantage of the situation in Ukraine to further its claims in the South China Sea. Its aggressive stance has pushed the Philippines to approach The Hague for arbitration. There are concerns that the tensions could lead to a breakdown of trade routes in the Western Pacific
The India-Japan alliance needs to be viewed through a prism broader than that of "containing" China, and by treating the Indian and Pacific oceans as a single entity. Such an alliance has the potential to strengthen the geopolitical security of India and Japan, along with that of all their allies and associates
In the coming years, India’s greatest strategic challenge in the Indian Ocean region may not be the development of power projection but the quality of the strategic relationships that it can build in the region. The extents to which India will be recognised as a regional leader depend on these relationships.
The map – Asia’s Strategic Corridors to India – has emerged from Gateway House’s study of India’s strategic links with other parts of Asia. It highlights the progress India has made in forging multiple links with six strategic regions – Central Asia, West Asia, East Africa, South-East Asia, East Asia, and our immediate neighbourhood
During his visit to Japan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke of the need to increase bilateral consultations on strategic issues. This, and other moves, indicate new developments in India’s Look East Policy, with alternative security and economic scenarios for regional actors in the context of the rise of China
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.