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India’s pivot to Southeast Asia

TO commemorate 25 years of dialogue partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), India hosted 10 leaders from the member countries as chief guests for its Republic Day celebrations. In his Republic Day editorial that appeared in 27 newspapers and in 10 languages, Prime Minister Narendra Modi focused on the shared values and common destiny between India and Asean, which have moved on from being dialogue partners to strategic partners. It is therefore evident that Asean and Southeast Asia are on India’s priority list. There are certain imperatives on which India seeks to engage with Asean: geopolitical, economic, and socio-cultural. SEE ALSO: Russia, India, China affirm partnership against terrorism First, the geopolitics. The central issue on which Indo-Asean relations deeply thrive is China. The Modi government’s 2014 Act East Policy (a successor to the Look East Policy of the 1990s) came as an anaesthetic solution to China’s growing assertiveness in the region...

 

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