A strategic coming together of the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India was close to fruition some years ago, impelled initially by the tsunami of 2004. The spirit of the enterprise remains alive even now, and there are many merits in India joining the quad, but such an arrangement can skew existing Asian equations, jeopardising the Act East policy
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The recent BRICS summit and BIMSTEC outreach highlighted some laudable maritime endeavours linking geographically distant, emerging economies within the grouping. The BIMSTEC platform is also crucial to India's efforts to create a peaceful Bay of Bengal community through economic and cultural linkages.
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.
The recent re-evaluation by the US, China, Japan, and Russia of their military strategies reflects new geopolitical equations in which the Asia Pacific is a major strategic intersection. Turmoil in this region can impact India’s trade and security interests, and to avoid this India must craft a balance between its relations with all the countries involved
What are the implications for India of the scaling down of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the continuing tension with China at the border, and the political turmoil in Bangladesh? How should India address these and other upheavals in its neighbourhood, which are potential challenges to the country’s security?
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
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
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Japan’s Shinzo Abe are giving heft to a renewed partnership and a focus on the Indo-Pacific. Both nations must collaborate and work with South Pacific countries, especially Tonga, to counter China’s growing influence in this increasingly geopolitically important region
Political disputes and popular passions in North East Asia argue for discreet diplomacy and the provision of mutual assurances to prevent conflict and escalation.