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  • India's approach to Asia Pacific

    India's approach to Asia Pacific

    This policy brief discusses some of the key trends in the Asia Pacific and sets out a long-term approach for India so as to maximise its security and developmental opportunities.

    September 19, 2013

    Shubhendra Mishra asked: What is the strategic significance of India’s Look East Policy? Is it to counter China’s ‘string of pearls’ network?

    Rup Narayan Das replies: India’s Look East Policy was unveiled in early 1990s before the concept of ‘string of pearls’ gained currency. In fact, India’s Look East Policy is a resurrection and rejuvenation of India’s traditional, cultural, historical and political ties with the countries in the South East Asian region. India’s deep cultural interaction is particularly evident in Bali in Indonesia and the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia. There is also an Indonesian version of Ramayana. In modern times, India extended moral and political support to the liberation struggles in Vietnam and Indonesia. India played a key role in the Geneva Conference of 1954, which brought peace to the Indo-China region after the French withdrawal. Similarly, India played an important role in the Indonesian fight against the Dutch imperialism. Thus, India’s engagement in the region has its own imperatives.

    When India’s Look East Policy was unveiled in early 1990s, it also coincided with India’s economic reforms and liberalisation, and as such, the policy has much to do with India’s economic engagement with the region rather than to counter the ‘string of pearls’ strategy attributed to China. The ‘string of pearls’ strategy refers to China’s building of ports in Gwadar in Pakistan, Hambantota in Sri Lanka, Chittagong in Bangladesh and Sittwe in Myanmar. China has claimed that these ports have commercial purposes, but these ports have security and strategic implications for India. India has taken cognisance of such future possibilities and has deepened its comprehensive engagement with the countries of the region, particularly Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

    The import of India’s strategic engagement with the region can be understood from a statement by India’s National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, made during a discussion at Carnegie Endowment in September 2010, when he stated: “We have global interest, the Chinese have global interest, all of us do. And all the major powers, as I said, are not only interdependent on each other, but also are dealing with each other across a whole range of issues, none of which recognise some artificial geographical construct like South Asia or East Asia. These are interlocking circles of security and prosperity, whichever way you look at it.”

    Sino-ASEAN Strategic Partnership: The Missing Trust

    The China-ASEAN strategic partnership marked its 10th year recently but given China’s maritime assertiveness in South China Sea, mistrust remains between China and ASEAN, prompting many to review China’s rise.

    August 07, 2013

    Future of Golden BRICS

    With the successful holding of the fifth summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in Durban during March 26–27, 2013, this influential group of emerging economies completed its first important phase of genesis and evolution. The idea was floated in 2001 as an ‘acronym’ created by an investment banker of Goldman Sachs, Jim O'Neil who believed that the fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, China and India would be the single greatest game changers in coming times.

    July 2013

    The Rise of Nationalism in Japan and China

    Both the Chinese and Japanese political leadership are whipping up angst and anger against each other and channelling domestic content into feverish nationalism.

    July 29, 2013

    Abhishek Gupta asked : Is there currently any reliable information on whether China plans to use Coco Islands of Myanmar for intelligence/military purposes?

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar replies: There is currently no reliable information available in open sources on the Chinese plans to use Coco Islands for intelligence or military purposes. Some older reports, dating back to 1992, do refer to setting up of an electronic intelligence installation with antenna towers, radar sites and other related facilities. It was also reported that the Chinese were developing and expanding the air base on the Island. The issue was apparently taken up with Myanmar in 2009 and it denied the presence of the Chinese on Coco Islands.

    For more details, refer to the following:
    http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/myanmar-says-no-chinese-base-at-coc...

    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1289045/report-india-takes-up-with-myanmar...

    http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/searc/Data/FileUpload/294/WP101_08_ASelth.pdf

    Significance and Implications of Shenzhou 10

    The launch of Shenzhou 10 is a crucial step towards fulfilling China’s plans of building a space station by the year 2020 and equally an important part of China's rise.

    June 24, 2013

    Does China Mix Business with Politics?

    China maintains a twin track relationship with most countries. While its political differences are handled diplomatically it has continued to engage such nations economically.

    June 21, 2013

    The Obama-Xi Summit

    Just as Mao had made the historic declaration that the Chinese people have ‘stood up,’ Xi now wants the world to acknowledge that China as a great power has ‘arrived.’

    June 18, 2013

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