There is a case to be made for an India-led initiative in the Indo-Pacific that displays greater commitment to upholding international law than to ‘inclusivity’ as well as willingness to take on a wider ambit of regional responsibilities in the security and political domains
Beijing is trying to keep ASEAN a divided house over the South China Sea issue by employing a mix of diplomacy and economic engagement.
The recent visits of Indian Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Vietnam are signs of a growing convergence of concerns that these countries have about China. But no strategic grouping can be sustainable without also developing linkages at multiple levels.
Can India and China learn to cooperate in other fields following in the path of their oil companies? Or are the travails of their oil companies an indicator of the difficulties ahead in Sino-Indian relations?
The Asian century might not be so much about China and India as their neighbours who get these giants to behave themselves.
If “much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia”, then New Delhi will need to find the energy and resources to focus not just on its troubled western frontiers but also on its sprawling and diverse eastern neighbourhood.