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Ajay Lele’s Article on India's Look East Policy Published in The Pioneer

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  • February 06, 2012

    Research Fellow, IDSA, Wg. Cdr. Ajay Lele’s analytical report “‘Look West’ meets ‘Look East’ and China shivers?” was published in ‘The Pioneer’, one of the leading English dailies, on February 4, 2012. The report is a comment on India’s ‘Look East Policy’.


    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak were chief guests at the 2011 and 2010 Republic Day parades at New Delhi while Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was the guest of honour for the 2012 parade. Is it only a coincidence that for continuous three years India’s chief guests at Republic Day parades have been the heads of states from the eastern hemisphere, specially to the east of India? Or is it a form of diplomatic thrust to the “Look East” policy which has been gathering cobwebs since 1992 and is currently in desperate need for a new orientation?

    The issue is why is India becoming more proactive with its SE Asia policy in particular and ‘Look East’ policy in general? Is China’s rapid rise and its tendency of flexing of its muscles responsible for this? Is this an act of balancing strategies? Are SE Asian states finding India as an option to check Chinese hegemony? Or is it purely driven by economic reasons?

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