Gateway House was part of a delegation of scholars that recently visited China and interacted with Chinese scholars and universities across Beijing, Chengdu and Kunming. It provided a better understanding of China’s perspectives and concerns on key geopolitical and geoeconomic issues
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
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.
Indonesia and Malaysia appreciate India’s leadership role in the Indo-Pacific, but are also aware of all that keeps it from delivering on its commitments. A policy visit to the two countries enabled a closer look at some key issues, such as ASEAN’s centrality, the Quad and India’s stand on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
The year 2017 may change some equations in the East Asian region. Will the near parity that the U.S. and China currently share turn into a keener contest? Will strained relations between India and China persist? Donald Trump’s election as the next U.S. president casts the spotlight squarely on these inter-state relationships
External integration—which the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will generate—has policy implications that India must manage well and quickly. As a first step, India can introduce the GST, among other measures, in order to become a more unified domestic economy.
Dr. Kanti Bajpai, Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, talks about the reasons for the breakdown in the India-U.S. bilateral. In an interview to Gateway House, he also examines the recent strides taken in deepening India-Japan ties and the new government’s priorities in East Asia
China-Japan relations have taken a backseat due to their economic hurdles and territorial rows. In order to increase its economic prowess in Asia, China needs to be more amiable with India and has to avoid any border disputes in the near future.