C. Raja Mohan is Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, and contributing editor on foreign affairs for 'The Indian Express'.
The 2+2 dialogue comes in the backdrop of a structural shift in great power politics and turbulence in the global economic order.
In using Dhaka’s impressive economic performance to attack Delhi’s, India is missing the bigger story about the strategic consequences of Bangladesh’s economic rise.
India’s current focus is on drawing foreign investment into domestic manufacturing; but Delhi has been unable to clinch bilateral trade deals or articulate the case for rejigging the global economic order.
Obsession with non-alignment diverts Delhi's policy attention away from the urgent task of rapidly expanding India's national capabilities in partnership with like-minded partners.
The anxiety that India is losing clout in the Subcontinent is not new. India’s relations with its neighbours will always be about carefully managing the inevitable difficulties that arise
In writing the new rules and reshaping the global order, India needs to strengthen its recent turn to a more dynamic coalition building.
As the old order begins to crumble in the greater Middle East, the question is no longer whether India should join the geopolitical jousting there; but when, how and in partnership with whom.
For Jaishankar, the Mahabharata is “the most vivid distillation of Indian thoughts on statecraft” and a "graphic account" of real-life situations and the complex challenges they present leaders. “The courage required to implement policy is, perhaps, its most famous section — the Bhagavad Gita.”
Delhi’s pursuit of economic regionalism in East Asia and a multi-polar world in partnership with China and Russia had severely underestimated the economic and political consequences of China’s rapid rise.
In the 1990s, the quest for strategic autonomy from the US drove India into a political coalition with Russia and China that sought to limit the dangers of the unipolar moment. Today, the logic of strategic autonomy from China nudges India to look for strong security partnerships
Standing up for Arab sovereignty and opposing the forces of regional destabilisation must be at the very heart of India’s new engagement with the Middle East.
C. Raja Mohan writes: Unlike Beijing and Moscow, Delhi has no incentive to pick sides between Trump and Biden. It can deal productively with both. But Delhi is conscious of the current unprecedented churn in US domestic politics and the breakdown of the internal consensus on foreign and economic policies.
Although total digital decoupling between US and China might take a long time, if it happens at all, new rules are emerging to define terms of engagement
While India must pay close attention to the unfolding China debate in the US, it must also note the structural changes in American engagement with China over the last two decades.
India is no minor economic force in the Arab world, having had a much longer engagement with the region than China. Instead of defining an unrealistic competition with Beijing, Delhi must up its own commercial game in the Arab world.
As Britain recognises that China can’t be the anchor of its post-Brexit foreign economic and strategic policies, Delhi has a huge opening to restructure its relationship with London
In an unfortunate paradox, the phenomenal rise of China may have created the very conditions for the demise of the Asian century. That China has become far more powerful than all of its Asian neighbours has meant Beijing no longer sees the need to evoke Asian unity.
If Delhi comes out of this crisis wounded, its troubles at home and the world will mount significantly. But an India that comes out of this confrontation with its head held high, will find its international political stock rising and its options on China expanding.
India must also recognise that China, like the great powers before it, wants to redeem its territorial claims, has the ambition to bend the neighbourhood to its will, reshape the global order to suit its interests.
The ground reality has not been altered by India’s constitutional changes. It is being changed by the PLA’s growing military capabilities and the political will to use them.
The real challenge for Delhi in managing its expansive territorial dispute with Beijing, then, is to redress the growing power imbalance with China.
It is only by building a series of overlapping bilateral and minilateral platforms for regional security cooperation that Delhi and Canberra can limit the dangers of the growing geopolitical imbalance in the Indo-Pacific.
It should bet that the logic of Nepal’s economic geography, its pursuit of enlightened self-interest, and Kathmandu’s natural balancing politics, will continue to provide a strong framework for India’s future engagement with Nepal.
Those calling for direct engagement with the Taliban say that Delhi can't ignore such an important force in Afghan politics. Opponents say there is no reason for Delhi to join the international stampede to embrace the Taliban.
Whatever the fate of the resolution, the wide-ranging support it has got amidst the vocal Chinese opposition is impressive.