Religion is an important component of the soft power countries use in their foreign policy. Yet, no Indian government has given Islam adequate prominence, especially in its interactions with South-East Asia, where the majority of people are Muslim
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Prime Minister Modi’s visits to South East Asia last week were major steps in furthering the goals of India’s Act East Policy even as major power rivalries unfolded in the region. Most significant was the visit to Indonesia, a low key Asian power but one that India can partner to enhance its regional stature.
The high cost and political impact of Chinese-funded infrastructure in countries like Myanmar, Malaysia and Sri Lanka make it imperative for India to work with Japan to provide alternatives, to ensure that the region is neither bankrupted nor militarised by Chinese influence.
Distinguished Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at Gateway House, Amb. Rajiv Bhatia, joined reporter Ashok Shrivastav on DD News to discuss Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Watch the segment here or below (from 10:35):
Malaysia is in the eye of a different power game today. Fifteen years ago when Mahathir’s last tenure as prime minister ended, the United States loomed over the Asia-Pacific and Malaysia. Today it is an unlikely leader and Mahathir inherits a China-dominated Indo-Pacific and vexed internal politics. What changes in foreign policy will this entail?
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
Prime Minister Modi's Act East policy is taking visible shape as leaders of the 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) take their place as chief guests at India's 2018 Republic Day celebrations. This is unprecedented as New Delhi’s January 26 celebration has never had this large a number of chief guests. The year 2017 marked 50 years of ASEAN’s creation, and also 25 years of India-ASEAN relations.
This is a partnership that has been based on mutuality, economic cooperation and undisputed political closeness ever since ASEAN’s inception. Now, the path into the future has to be different: creating a new security architecture and determining ASEAN’s role in the Quad are overarching questions that cannot be wished away
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House gave a presentation on ‘Regional and Bilateral Co-operation’ at the Conference on India-ASEAN Partnership@25, New Delhi
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House gave the Keynote Remarks on ‘ASEAN Today: Introspection and Prospects’ at the Regional Conclave on ASEAN@50 and India-ASEAN Relations in Bengaluru