Great power competition in the Indo-Pacific is a concern for regional powers. India’s maritime security strategy has adapted to this geo-political change, and is moving from acting as a balancing power, to a leading force in the region. India is a near, yet non-resident power, and has a strategy for providing stability, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
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ASEAN centrality is not what it used to be. Covid, post-pandemic economic recovery, the Ukraine crisis and the challenge of China all tested ASEAN capabilities to manage them. It is now up to ASEAN to work out its unity and centrality with a greater sense of responsibility.
City-level climate action is gaining pace in India. This is crucial, given the country’s climate vulnerabilities and growing carbon footprint. Its success depends on mobilisation of climate finance, targeted devolution of central resources, inter-agency data-sharing and of course, public participation.
Indians are the largest expatriate community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Their contribution to building that nation is being celebrated this year, which is also the UAE’s golden jubilee year. Cultural fluency built on centuries-old trade and migration makes it easier for Indians and Gulf Arabs to collaborate.
The attempts of responsibility-transfer of asylum-processing and refugee-protection by the UK and Denmark to Rwanda, reflect a fundamental shift from the conventional principle of territorial asylum and set an undesirable precedent. Deporting the vulnerable to countries with perpetual internal socio-political and economic issues and inadequate asylum infrastructure, will gravely compromise their safety, welfare, human rights and benefit claims as refugees.
The warning signs were visible long before the Ukraine conflict. Years of insufficient investment into oil and gas production resulted in high price, and shortages. With investors keeping away from traditional fuels, the conflict in Ukraine precipitated the inevitable. Energy-dependent India must now insulate its supply chains.
The Quad has agreed to launch a satellite-based maritime security initiative to curb illegal fishing by China. India is a global leader in satellite launches, especially in Earth Observation (EO) satellites. The Indo-Pacific nations are looking at the Indian model because it is applicable, economical, and sustainable.
The recently concluded ASEAN-U.S. Summit has raised the bilateral cooperation to a strategic comprehensive partnership. Key areas of cooperation were identified and global health, SDGs, maritime security and connectivity, and the Ukrainian war dominated the dialogue. The meeting is significant in light of the May 24 Quad Summit, where it is important for the US to have its engagement with ASEAN visible.
The strength and trust in the India-FRANCE bilateral was evident during the May 4th visit of Prime Minister Modi to Paris. Beyond the difficult discussions on multilateral issues, the partnership has been deepened in several key areas of cooperation, from defence to education, climate, energy, digitalisation and technical collaboration. Energy and digitalisation are two particularly bright spots for future collaboration.
India and Israel have completed three decades of diplomatic cooperation. Their bilateral partnership in the areas of defence and agriculture is successful. Now is a good opportunity to deepen their existing collaboration in defence and agriculture and identify ways to work together on water security, renewable energy and green healthcare.