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Indo-Pacific Forum

ndia is now trying to fast-track long-pending plans to bolster its military presence in island territories on both the western and eastern seaboards to ensure it can keep a hawk-eye on the rapidly-militarising Indian Ocean Region (IOR), as well as protect its huge maritime interests there.

 
 

Given that India has formally applied for membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) – whose members alone can export nuclear technology and fuel – it’s only natural for New Delhi to enhance coordination with South Korea.

 

Where the Taiwanese need India for making strategic and economic manoeuvres, India also needs Taiwan to push its ‘Act East Policy’ and further its strategic heft against China in East Asia. Taiwan could help India in its new programs like ‘Make in India’ and developing ‘smart cities’. It’s time for the Indian government to let go of its ambiguity, writes Namrata Hasija for South Asia Monitor.

 

As China moves to further entrench its presence in this part of the world, it would take greater global cooperation to contain what could become an imposing maritime presence of the Chinese, writes Divya Kumar Soti for South Asia Monitor.

 

The image of the invincible Chinese dragon has now and then taken beatings. Consider the visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to India in 2014.

 

According to the Pentagon’s recent annual report to the US Congress, China has bolstered its defence capabilities and force posture on the disputed border with India. This has raised the question: Why and how must India respond? Building defence force does not mean much since China has mobile, hard-hitting regular forces, which, in large numbers (about 32 divisions or 400,000 troops in two to three weeks) can be brought to the Tibet Autonomous Region with road, rail and air-lift capabilities.

 
 

During his election campaign, Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines was often compared to Donald Trump. Like the Republican Party’s presumptive candidate, Mr. Duterte ran a divisive, anti-establishment campaign built around a strongman image. His contempt for law, threats to “shut down Congress” and pledge to send the army and the police to kill criminals had all revived memories of Ferdinand Marcos’s brutal dictatorship, brought to an end by a “revolution” in 1986. Mr. Duterte’s victory in the presidential elections by a clear margin, has thrown the future of the Philippines into uncertainty. 

 

The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, will now be known as commander-in-chief of the military's joint operations command centre. The title, bestowed on a fatigues-clad Xi by the State media towards the end of April, is largely a symbolic reaffirmation of his existing authority over the People's Liberation Army.

 

These days we are frequently told, usually by government ministers and spokes-persons, that India is the "fastest growing large economy in the world". Never mind that the debate on the new (since January 2015) national income data series, on which this claim is based, remains the subject of vigorous debate and scepticism. Many reputable, non-government analysts believe that "real" economic growth is probably one or two per cent points lower than the 7.5 per cent GDP growth indicated by the new series.

 
 

The last two decades have seen a remarkable shift in India's security dialogue. From almost nowhere, issues in the maritime sector have begun to acquire increasing focus. Terms such as Sagar Mala (development of ports), Mausam (promoting interconnectivity with littorals in the waters around us) and Blue Economy have entered the discourse even as efforts to build a stronger Navy and Coast Guard to safeguard the nation's interests at sea and to act as a Net Security Provider have come to the forefront. At every strategic discussion maritime security gets mentioned at the very start of the debate. This relatively recent development merits discussion.

 
 


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