India’s Eastward Thrust: Predicaments and Prospects
The book ‘India’s Eastwards Thrust – Predicaments and Prospects’ is an attempt to critically analyze India’s Act East policy summed up into three ‘Cs’; Connectivity, Commerce and Culture.
There is an ambitious progress being made in India’s connectivity projects linking northeast region with the ASEAN countries. These are through Land, Rail, Air, Sea and Optic Fiber Linkages. India and ASEAN partnership is making huge progress in trade and commerce inching towards the targeted five trillion economies. India and ASEAN on cultural side are building bridges of friendship through people to people and business to business contacts.
The development of India’s northeast region, by gaining access through Bangladesh, to develop a seamless land and sea connectivity with Myanmar and Thailand are key elements of India’s Act East policy.
However, China is a predominant factor in India’s Eastward Thrusts. China has an overwhelming presence in in their region. Many ASEAN countries are keen to see India gain foothold in Southeast Asian region but are reluctant to openly do so for want of annoying China. As a result, due China factor, India is finding it difficult to enter into the Southeast Asian region.
Then South China Sea dispute and the security of sea lanes in the Strait of Malacca are important factors in India’s Eastward Thrusts. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between United States, Japan, Australia and India is an attempt to maintain peace in the region but each country has its own axe to grind.
The success of India’s Act East policy as much depends on the cooperation with the ASEAN countries as on China. So how India can manage China and woo the ASEAN countries is the litmus test of India’s Eastward Thrusts.
The book ‘India’s Eastwards Thrusts – Predicaments and Prospects’ is based on ground reports from where India’s Act East policy is being anchored. The critical analysis gives a realistic touch to understand the nuances of India’s ambitious Act East policy of Eastwards Thrusts. In sum, there are enough predicaments in India’s grandiose policy but if all of them could be managed well, there are no stopping back to India’s Eastward Thrusts.
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