As he seeks a say in defining the agenda of the quadrilateral security dialogue with Japan, the United States, and Australia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heralding his country’s self-confident pursuit of enlightened self-interest with all the major powers.
The proposition that India must tilt to one side, toward Russia and China, and keep its distance from the United States is a legacy from the 1970s. It does not square with contemporary reality.
The durability of the Indo-Pacific dynamic will depend essentially on New Delhi’s willingness to work with the United States and its allies in the region.
The rise of China and the turbulence in U.S. domestic politics have created great disorder, but they have also opened up room for creative Indian diplomacy in Asia.
As India hosts Charles, the Prince of Wales, New Delhi and London have an opportunity to think afresh about the future of the Commonwealth.
As New Delhi scrambles to cope with China’s rapid naval advances in the Indian Ocean, it needs to bring its bilateral cooperation with individual European countries into a comprehensive strategic framework.
India’s issue with quadrilateral cooperation among India, Japan, Australia and the United States is no longer about the principle. New Delhi will sit down with anyone in any kind of forum if that serves India’s national interest.
The Indian, Japanese, and U.S. effort to connect the Pacific and Indian Oceans could be an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and enhance the bargaining power of small countries vis-a-vis Beijing.
While New Delhi and Tokyo realize their limitations in competing with China-led initiatives, there is an unmatched intent and willingness in the Indo-Japanese relationship to collaborate on new areas across the region.
By condemning Pakistan-based terror groups, China has signaled that it is willing to hold Islamabad accountable for harboring terror in order to protect Chinese investments and security in the region.