While trade liberalization and transportation infrastructure should remain BIMSTEC’s key priorities, the Bay of Bengal will not re-emerge as a regional space unless there are significant investments to foster people to people exchanges.
Beyond its economic potential and strategic significance, the Bay of Bengal distinguishes itself globally by abysmal levels of integration, reflecting a deep divide between South and Southeast Asia.
The resolution of many outstanding maritime territorial disputes and the tentative steps for political and security cooperation in the region provide the basis for imagining a Bay of Bengal community that will benefit all the peoples of the region.
India and other countries around the Bay of Bengal should invest greater resources in the multilateral institution BIMSTEC to promote regional connectivity and shared prosperity.
India’s Look East policy, initially aimed at reconnecting India with Asia’s economic globalization, has since evolved into a comprehensive regional strategy with political and military dimensions. As the United States rebalances to Asia, however, India faces new dilemmas.
China’s actions in the South China Sea will likely have adverse consequences for the global maritime order. Such actions require a sustained and intentional response on the part of the United States.
As India reaffirms the centrality of ASEAN for Asia’s peaceful future this week, New Delhi must back its words with concrete proposals for stronger defense and security cooperation with the region.
India’s problem is not about competing with China in South Asia, but managing its messy interdependence with the neighbours with some strategic vision and a lot of tactical finesse.
The durability of the Indo-Pacific dynamic will depend essentially on New Delhi’s willingness to work with the United States and its allies in the region.
This book identifies how Asia’s major powers have developed military strategies to address their most significant challenges.