On 23 June 2021, the India-New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) Summit for the year 2021 was held. Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, participated in the panel discussion and delivered his remarks on ‘Indo-Pacific Strategic Ties’. In his speech, he highlighted India and New Zealand’s voluntary subscription to champion the concept of free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific. He also suggested five policy measures to translate the shared perspective into practical plans and actions for the common good.
The Quad countries are preparing for an autumn summit in Washington, which will provide an opportunity to discuss multilateral cooperation in various sectors. Four dimensions which merit closer attention and are crucial to the group's future are the Indo-Pacific strategies of European countries and the EU, partnerships with ASEAN and its members, closer India-U.S. ties and maritime security issues in the Pacific.
On 28 May 2021, the Biden administration submitted a much-delayed Defense Budget to Congress, asking for $715 billion for 2022, a 1.6% increase over the previous year’s $703.7 billion. This marginal increase highlights the U.S.’s shrinking capacities compared with China, which spends less than a third of the U.S. on defence. This Budget is focussed on challenges in the U.S.’s geographic vicinity, not the administration’s resolve to counter the threat of China from a position of strength.
The EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy comes better late than never. But it has to step gingerly. It cannot antagonize China, wants to build on the legacy of its members’ colonial past, give the region the infrastructure it needs, and make the trade agreements that it wants. Is it achievable?
The recently-enacted China Coast Guard laws have renewed uncertainty in the South China Sea. India must work with the Quad to build collective maritime competence of maritime law enforcement agencies beyond the Indian Ocean Region within the Indo-Pacific.
Ambassador Neelam Deo, Director and co-founder of Gateway House in the weekly series of podcasts on the U.S Elections analyses the foreign policy agenda of the Democratic government, why COVID-19 will impact voters choice and if Kamala Harris’ connection to India will influence the Indian-American votes
The Quad, a grouping of Indo-Pacific democracies, is more relevant than ever. It must now operationalise not just the military exchanges but also formalise economic and technology partnerships that will undergird a meaningful new multilateral, provide it with resilience and appeal in the Indo-Pacific region. In this Webcast, co-hosted by Gateway House and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the panelists discuss the need to reform Quad, which hosts the four leading global voices, in order for it to become the magnet that attracts like-minded nations, small and big cutting across continents and oceans to converge on the new world order realities.
On 23 July, Gateway House co-hosted a webinar with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on QUAD or QUAD?. The panel included Dr.C Raja Mohan, Dr. Malcolm Davis, Tetsuo Kotani, Alexander Slater, Peter Rimmele and Manjeet Kripalani
China’s escalating actions in the wake of the COVID-19 catastrophe is a calculated strategic diversion and risk. In the Indo-Pacific, tensions between China and the U.S., Australia, India and others are building momentum. As a geopolitical partnership, the relevance of the Quad is now proven. There are clear ways to empower it immediately, and make it a resilient grouping.
India needs its own merchant fleet to run parallel with its increasingly strong navy. The geopolitical and geoeconomic compulsions have never been greater. India’s growing imports and exports of crude oil, LPG, and coal are all carried on foreign-owned shipping vessels, depriving the country of revenue and creating a geopolitical imbalance with an increasingly strong Indian navy that is set to play a significant role in the Indo-Pacific