AI-03 (Nov. 2018) — Quad v/s Act East Policy: A Cautious India Needs to Move Closer to Regional/Sub-regional Initiatives

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Quad v/s Act East Policy: A Cautious India Needs to Move Closer to Regional/Sub-regional Initiatives

By Sampa Kundu (Assistant Professor, Symbiosis School of International Studies, India)

November 2018 witnessed few significant developments with regard to India’s Act East Policy and India’s broader approach to the Indo-Pacific. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Singapore to attend the ASEANIndia Breakfast Summit, 13th East Asia Summit (EAS), 2nd Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) Summit and other meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Mr. Modi specifically mentioned about the broader canvass of India’s approach towards Indo-Pacific and India’s Act East Policy (AEP) where ASEAN plays a central role in the Summits and meetings that he attended in Singapore. The AEP and India’s approach to the Indo-Pacific seem to be complimentary to each other as both these policies reiterate about India’s reinvigorated involvement in the geo-strategic affairs of the wider construct of the Indo-Pacific. However, the question remains, whether the four-country Quad forum, which seems to be one of the visible outcomes of the construct of the Indo-Pacific, has been received well by the ASEAN countries….(for fulltext, please download AI-03)

Dr. Sampa Kundu is Assistant Professor, Symbiosis School of International Studies, India. She can be reached via: sampa.sun [at] gmail.com

AI-02 (Nov. 2018) — Whither India’s Northeast: Transition from Look East to Act East Policy

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Whither India’s Northeast: Transition from Look East to Act East Policy

By Smitana Saikia (Assistant Professor, FLAME University, India)

India’s northeast region (NER) comprises of eight small states with a diverse ethno-linguistic population. The region is strategically located sharing over 5,300 km of international borders with China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. In early 1990s as a by-product of economic reforms, the Indian government aimed to foster increased economic integration and security cooperation with Southeast Asia as the latter came to be recognized as a key concern for India’s national interest. The northeast region was to be the gateway of this outreach and this outlook came to be known as the Look East Policy (LEP)….(for fulltext, please download AI-02)

Dr. Smitana Saikia is Assistant Professor of FLAME University, India. She can be reached via: smitana.saikia [at] flame.edu.in

AI-01 (Nov. 2018) — Modi’s Latest Visit to Japan: the Indo-Pacific as teh Template for Relations

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Modi’s Latest Visit to Japan: The Indo-Pacific as the Template for Relations

By Prashant Kumar Singh (Associate Fellow, Institute of Defense and Strategic Analysis, India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent Japan visit from October 27-29, 2018, yet again reiterated that while terming India and Japan as “natural allies” may still be an over statement, describing them as “natural strategic partners,” might not be wholly off the mark. A review of this visit reinforces the view that the India-Japan “special strategic and global partnership” has a deeper meaning and greater significance, with notable implications, for the regional strategic landscape. Modi’s visit to Japan came hard on the heels of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to China from October 25-27, 2018. Incidentally, Abe’s visit, the first by a Japanese prime minister since 2011, was perceived as marking a thaw in China-Japan relations. Therefore, the scheduling of Modi’s visit actually appeared to be conveying the message that mature relationships are not a zero sum game. It seemed to be highlighting the strength of the India-Japan strategic partnership. Officials though, do not confirm this inference…. (for fulltext, please downland AI-01)

Dr. Prashant Kumar is Associate Fellow of the Institute of Defense and Strategic Analysis, India. He can be reached via: prashant.idsa [at] gmail.com