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

Fulltext downland: Asia Insights 02

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:


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

Fulltext downland: Asia Insights 01

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: