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WORLD NEWS | Southeast Asia: India, a ray of hope for a region mired in superpower rivalry

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Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia]March 16 (ANI): India’s relations with Southeast Asian countries have come a long way from estrangement in the 1990s to contemporary strategic engagement since 2014. As a firm acknowledgment of the mutual desire of both parties to expand and deepen their relationship, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) further elevated their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership in November 2022, according to Bernama.

However, while India-Southeast Asia relations have improved exponentially over the past two decades, New Delhi needs to pay more attention to the security concerns of Southeast Asian countries and consistently implement a policy of strong cooperation that goes beyond rhetoric, which is most important to both sides. Maximizing your potential is critical. They revive partnerships.

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Southeast Asia is an important avenue for international commerce and power projection. As a result, the US-China power competition continues to plague the region’s volatile security architecture, prompting Southeast Asian countries to choose sides at the expense of their long-term security interests and development trajectories, Bernama reported.

The rise of India as a potential power and pillar of an emerging multipolar Asia is thus another notable development amidst the changing distribution of power on the continent

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While India’s overall material capabilities are still dwarfed by those of the United States and China, we cannot ignore its importance as an emerging power in Asian affairs. As the world’s largest democracy, India’s normative influence, strong diplomatic network and insistence on strategic autonomy have further increased its importance in Asia’s evolving geopolitical architecture, according to Bernama News.

Moreover, as an Asian power aware of the difficulties of dealing with an assertive China, India is a partner in Southeast Asia.

From regular high-level meetings to expanding and strengthening cooperation in maritime security, information sharing, trade and connectivity, the past few years have witnessed the closeness and robustness of India’s strategic relationship with Southeast Asia. Having made a breakthrough in diplomacy, New Delhi has also become more vocal and active about the plight of Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea.

In fact, the first ASEAN-India maritime exercise will also be held early this year to demonstrate the mutual interest of both sides in enhancing interoperability and coordination to address emerging regional security issues, Bernama reported.

Moreover, the region welcomes a more active role for India as a trusted security provider and capacity builder, given its strengths in presenting itself as a benign, responsible great power, unwavering and interested in maintaining A rules-based order while seeking cooperation based on shared interests rather than group politics

Moreover, the way India has shown political maturity in resolving current international conflicts is well aligned with the interests and concerns of Southeast Asian countries. In fact, both the Indo-Pacific Maritime Initiative (IPCI) and the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Outlook (AOIP) place a strong emphasis on maintaining inclusiveness and the centrality of ASEAN in the region.

However, while India’s engagement with Southeast Asia has deepened and expanded considerably over the past few years, India still has a lot of room to improve its profile and partnerships in the region. While a recent survey by the ISEAS Institute highlighted the perception that India is more favorable, it also showed that public opinion in the Southeast Asian nation remains uncertain about New Delhi’s willingness to lead politically. However, this view is understandable given India’s ambivalent interactions with Southeast Asia over the past few decades, Bernama reported.

To address such concerns, India-ASEAN trade and connectivity must be prioritized to enhance New Delhi’s profile in the Southeast Asia region. Moreover, India must continue to deepen bilateral and sub-regional based A model of intra-ASEAN cooperation with common multidimensional interests, concerns and goals.

According to Bernama, these practical proposals will not only open up channels for India to engage more in Southeast Asia, but also demonstrate its desire to proactively address the sensitivities and concerns harbored by countries in the region.

As challenges remain, it is important not to underestimate the overall shape of India’s strategic relationship with Southeast Asia over the past two decades. Although the depth of India’s relationship with Southeast Asia is still not as deep as that of China, Japan, and the United States, its strategic exchanges with Southeast Asian countries undoubtedly have a multifaceted nature. Therefore, as India’s material capabilities continue to grow, it is necessary for New Delhi to translate this into an effective and coherent policy towards Southeast Asia. (Arnie)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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