Indian Foreign Policy – Mid Term Review (Part 4)

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To read the Part 2 in the series of Indian Foreign Policy | Mid-Term Review : Click Here
To read the Part 3 in the series of Indian Foreign Policy | Mid-Term Review : Click Here

Indian Foreign Policy | India – China

Indian Foreign Policy 2

Prime Minister Modi has confidently dealt with China. He spoke eloquently about the Chinese expansionist policies in Japan and reminded them that there is no room for expansionism in today’s world but there is ample room for development in this era as it is in the interests of everyone. India understands that China is the second most powerful in the world so we cannot seek confrontation with it but we have to deal with it pragmatically. PM Modi has maintained a strategic balance with China which would be significant for India in the long run.

China is not a littoral state; it is our biggest neighbour. Therefore, we have to count this factor while deciding our strategies even for the Western Pacific region and the South China Sea.

Indian Foreign Policy | India-Russia 

Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi

There are allegations of potential economic and geopolitical costs of alienating Russia in our quest of rebuilding our relationship with the United States. Contrary to this popular belief, PM Modi has rather made extra efforts to reinforce this partnership. But the fact is that whenever our strategic thinkers argue about the deterioration of India-Russia relations, they think of it in terms of Soviet Union, which does not exist today. Russia is a weaker link to our global aspirations and it is incapable of giving the kind of services that we were used to in the past during Soviet Union times. At the same time, Russia remains a very important partner because the military cooperation would continue for a very long time to come as much of our military equipment is procured from Russian manufacturers. We are also dealing with Russia in the production of 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft.

India is going to be dependent on Russia on the Energy sector too. Russia has civil nuclear plans for India, while India is procuring oil and gas fields in Russia (Sakhalin Oil field) and expanding its investments in the energy sector in Russia.

The problem with Russian relationship lies in the fact that while India’s relationship with the United States has improved, the Russian relationship with the United States has deteriorated very sharply. Although these were two independent processes, Russia has been forced into Chinese arms very sharply to explore how to counter American influence globally. Hence, wherever there is any development of faction between the relationship of United States and any other country, the Russians are coming to fill the void. This adequately explains the developing Russia-Pakistan relationship. In this part of the world, Russia is making a very big mistake where his negatives outweigh the positives. India certainly hopes that the Russian leadership would realise it very soon.

(Note – Russia has formally made it clear that it is not in favour of China Pakistan Economic Corridor)

 Indian Foreign Policy | India-Pakistan

Gen Bajwa

Flip-flops are very much the parts of our strategy towards Pakistan. The most important policy of PM Modi towards Pakistan is that he has changed the structure of this relationship. By crossing the LoC for surgical strikes against the terrorists, he has raised the quality of deterrence that India has ever showcased against Pakistan. PM Modi has also brought horizontal escalation in terms of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and even talking about internal security situation of Pakistan (Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). Hence, the use of coercion to change the rules of engagement has been quite successful in terms of India’s Pakistan policy.

Indian Foreign Policy | India-Japan


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came up with the concept of Indo-Pacific cooperation i.e. the confluence of the seas. Our partnership with Japan is covering the entire Pacific and Indian Ocean region. PM Modi must be credited for realising the truth that even though the United States may provide a security umbrella to the countries of this region, it is actually the countries themselves who should be cooperating bilaterally and even multilaterally to ensure a secured and sustainable future for all. Japan is not just the source of economic prosperity for India but it is gradually becoming a source of security for India in this region through all the efforts that PM Modi and PM Shinzo Abe’s personal relationship has brought for India. Hence, India must cultivate its relationship with Japan and keep it close to us in the future.

About the question of Chinese concerns, we should remember that it does not cater to the fact that what India might think when it engages with our neighbours and Pakistan in particular. Therefore, we must not limit our engagement with Japan merely on the fact that what China might think. It should be a beneficial partnership for both India and Japan. Even if there are consequences from Chinese side, India might not be too worried about it because given the fact that our engagements in this game are multi-oriented, our relationship with Japan and other powers are stronger than ever and it will continue to grow further. There is no reason to paralyse such initiatives just because of Chinese concerns. India under PM Modi has realised this, even if it is late in time.

To read the Part 5 in the series of Indian Foreign Policy | Mid-Term Review : Click Here


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