The global politico-economic power is gradually shifting towards Asia, resulting in a strange metamorphosis. This Asian metamorphosism is characterised by changing power equations, transition, and a strategic flux. The economic dynamism within the continent along with the rise and re-rise of power centres such as India, China and Japan make the current times more exciting. As the international and regional arena transforms, various countries are trying to adjust to the changes and re – exploring their roles in the new landscape. Although the ripples of this Asian transition are affecting most of the Asian and non-Asian nation-states, India makes for an interesting case.
India‘s engagement with East and Southeast Asia forms a crucial part of its foreign policy and is manifested in its Look East Policy (LEP) or as now labeled, the Act East Policy (AEP). The relevance of China for India‘s Eastern policy is undeniable. India is witnessing the rise of its Northern neighbour, with which it shares a complex mix of rivalry, competition and cooperation. Beijing‘s expanding military tentacles and growing strategic relations with India‘s neighbours and beyond have been a cause of anxiety for New Delhi.
India, it appears, is working towards a regional balance of power in Asia by accelerating military and economic cooperation with the East and South East Asian littorals. However, at times, India‘s actions belie such a belief. Given this context, this article sheds light on India‘s orientation towards the East and what can explain India‘s conflicting behaviour.
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Source: 2015(2) ISSN 2277 – 2464 FPRC Journal, Foreign Policy Research Centre New Delhi (India), available at: http://www.fprc.in/india-and-east-asia-web.pdf