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
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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.
The foreign ministers of the Quad countries meet for the first time in New York today even as the Indo-Pacific has turned into a keenly contested geopolitical arena. Some countries are offering to play a mediatory role while other triangular equations are also undergoing change. An analysis of some of the relationships at work here
The Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy, which has been in power for three years, has shown a modest score card, winning more censure than praise. Suu Kyi’s civilian-military equation has been good, but not her reluctance on the Rohingya issue. What chances does her party have of winning in Myanmar’s elections in 2020?
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
Bangladesh faces several major challenges in its external relations. It showed humanitarianism in receiving the fleeing Rohingyas, but its diplomatic efforts to repatriate them have not succeeded. It must also maintain a balance between relations with India and China and show proactive leadership in garnering regional cooperation
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.
TIMES NOW featured our Distinguished Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Amb. Rajiv Bhatia on their show to discuss the fourth BIMSTEC Summit. Watch the full episode here.
The 21-year-old regional organisation, which will hold its fourth summit on August 30-31, was formed because of the opportunities to make headway in economic and social development through cooperation, but it has achieved modest success. It has a relevance independent of SAARC or ASEAN and goals of its own to pursue
This version of the Gateway House Map on China’s Expanding Global Telecom Empire identifies some more telecommunication assets -- optic-fibre and satellite ground stations -- that Beijing is working on in South and Central America, Africa, Myanmar, the Indian Ocean Region and mainland China besides the existing ones, such as the Pakistan East Africa Cable Express (PEACE). It shows the direction China’s investment is taking, its diplomatic overtures and the larger geopolitical implications of its growing telecom empire