This presentation focuses on one particular aspect of centre-province relations in India – the nature of influence that Indian provinces (or States) exercise on national foreign policymaking.
How can the European Union intervene in a positive and creative manner to ensure that a ‘new cold war’ does not develop between the two Asian giants?
A combination of the success of economic reforms in certain provinces and of coalition politics at the national level underwritten by strong regional parties is beginning to translate into a ‘decentralization’ of Indian foreign policymaking. Indian provinces and their leaders are increasingly vocal in their opinions on foreign policy and international affairs and their views are beginning to have an impact on how the centre makes its foreign policy calculations.
In Asia, as important as the aid itself is, is who provides it and how. There is clearly politics – foreign policy interests and domestic factors of both donor and recipient nations – involved in humanitarian relief and assistance.
It is important to start with that oft-repeated statement made by a Chinese admiral, “We can no longer accept the Indian Ocean as an ocean of the Indians.” Apart from a sense of nationalist hurt that Indian reactions to the statement portrayed and continue to portray, the statement succeeded also in evoking a realization hitherto largely ignored or even suppressed that the Indian Ocean which had long ago ceased to be India’s ocean.
The ‘reunification’ of China and Taiwan in the future, might not necessarily mean the same thing as it does today.
Referendums in the East Asian/Chinese context have a particular relevance, not so much because they are happening in Taiwan but because they involve China and this, at multiple levels. Without doubt, China has learned and is learning from Taiwan as it is from other parts of the world.
India must ask itself some hard questions. What does India view as the foundation for its relations with other countries? Why for example, should any country consider India’s rise as benign in comparison to that of China’s?
The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is today a strategic and commercial asset for both China and Pakistan but it has also been responsible for transporting terrorism, drugs and disease. Indeed, for Pakistan, the resultant Chinese concerns are no small matter. Its policy towards the Northern Areas invariably invokes the link that the region provides with China and the importance of the trade with that country.