Any reset of the China-India relationship would necessarily include an effort to widen the areas of cooperation that will provide some balance against the many negative factors that are unsettling bilateral relations.
With his relentless focus on “burden-sharing” and “America First”, U.S. President Trump could end up rearranging the political and security order in East Asia.
There appears to be a need for greater cooperation in the maritime domain in the Bay of Bengal, given the increasing rivalries in the region.
While trade liberalization and transportation infrastructure should remain BIMSTEC’s key priorities, the Bay of Bengal will not re-emerge as a regional space unless there are significant investments to foster people to people exchanges.
The resolution of many outstanding maritime territorial disputes and the tentative steps for political and security cooperation in the region provide the basis for imagining a Bay of Bengal community that will benefit all the peoples of the region.
Despite its status as a key maritime hub in global terms and all its economic promise, the Bay of Bengal’s potential is hamstrung by a lack of close internal economic integration among the countries that call the region home.
The Indo-Pacific has emerged as a critical region in global politics. The stakes for India and Japan are rapidly rising in this theater, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) sits at the heart of it.
India must recognize the reality of regional conflicts in the Middle East and limit their impact on India’s ability to secure its goals in the region.
India may not need a formal “Look West policy” to realize the new opportunities in the region if New Delhi views the Middle East on its own merits, pays sustained political attention, and delivers on the Indian economic and security commitments made at the highest levels.
Beyond just military power and humanitarian relief, India’s capacity to serve as a first responder to crises in the region also requires the strategic will and skill to help solve neighboring countries’ political conflicts.