17 November 2014
India has been overly cautious about increasing its interest in the Western Pacific. Recent developments under the Modi Government, however, hint at a greater political will in playing a part in shaping the changing security architecture.
As tension in the South China Sea continues to rise, countries like Vietnam and the Philippines are increasingly looking toward other regional powers to increase and maintain their interest in the Western Pacific. With growing India-Vietnam defence ties, Hanoi in particular is keen on India’s presence in the region, be it for economic or strategic reasons.
However, India has been unable to meet the expectations of its ASEAN friends, who more often than not complain about New Delhi not ‘doing enough’ in the security domain. While India continues to maintain its distance from any ‘contain China’ strategy, recent developments suggest that New Delhi is more willing to listen to its ASEAN friends. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden presence at the 9th East Asia Summit and the 12th India-ASEAN summit in Myanmar last week provides a glimpse into India’s willingness to be involved in regional security issues beyond its shores.
…Darshana M. Baruah is a Junior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. Her research area focuses on maritime security in Asia Pacific. She contributes this to RSIS Commentary.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 19/11/2014