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.
A historic summit is scheduled to take place on June 12. Three participants—the two Koreas and the U.S.—were involved in effecting the rapprochement that has preceded it. And for once, China is playing catch-up. Here is how it came about
The following remarks were given by Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House as chair at the Inauguration of the Centre for Vietnam Studies in New Delhi on May 15, 2018
The Modi government’s shift in policy since 2014 has not been a merely semantic one: the prime minister systematically enlarged the scope of the Look East Policy to include the whole of East Asia and not just the ASEAN. He showed his keenness to enhance trade and investment ties and took a stand on key issues, such as the regional security architecture. With the geopolitical situation in a state of flux, India has to now redesign its policy to develop a multi-dimensional relationship with ASEAN and ensure peace in East Asia.
Despite the Venezuelan opposition's victory in the December 6 legislative elections, 2016 will likely see a rise in political confrontations and a deepening economic crisis in Venezuela. The India-Venezuela bilateral will remain mostly unaffected and continue to be focused on oil.
An understanding between China and India not to develop a permanent presence on each other’s maritime territories may be helpful in reducing tensions between the two navies. Given the broader context of Sino-Indian strategic rivalry, however, this seems unlikely.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to India is likely to include an empty shopping basket of opportunities that keep domestic Chinese consumers content. Mr. Li should encourage Indian companies to fill that Chinese consumer need, and additional concessions may, if handled correctly by India, be sought as a result.
The five-point formula put forth by newly-elected Chinese President Xi Jinping to bolster bilateral relations with India signifies once again that Beijing is increasingly going for a semblance of stability in relations with its largest neighbour, without making any strategic concessions on contentious issues.
In the past few years, the SAARC region has seen promising engagements in mutual cooperation between nations. For these developments to hold, new ideas must be discussed
The third India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue saw more talk of ‘mutual capabilities’ than of a mere alliance. The larger endeavour in the bilateral is to find the right fit as partners, where both countries can preserve their strategic autonomy and benefit from their unique positions in the international community.