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India’s Indo-Pacific strategy works in tandem with its Act East Policy, with ASEAN Centrality as its basis. Discuss its significance and limitations for India.

Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

3. India’s Indo-Pacific strategy works in tandem with its Act East Policy, with ASEAN Centrality as its basis. Discuss its significance and limitations for India. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Tough

Reference: Indian ExpressInsights on India

Why the question:

On August 8, 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed in Bangkok. Its founding members were Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Philippines. Many commentators have pointed out that South Asia has important lessons to learn from ASEAN.

Key Demand of the question:

To understand the role of strategic partnership with ASEAN and its mutual benefits and limitations for both sides.

Directive word: 

Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you must debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You must give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin by mentioning the historic engagement of India-ASEAN relationship.

Body:

Bring out the importance of geographical proximity of the ASEAN countries and its strategic, security and economic implications to India. Also mention about the sociocultural dynamics, mobilisation of group level funds and promotion of domestic infrastructure projects based on few examples.

Next, write about the inter-link between India’s Indo-Pacific strategy works in tandem with its Act East Policy.

Next, write about the implications of the above on India.

Conclusion:

Conclude by stating that a good relation with ASEAN nations is crucial for India, in order for India to look beyond its neighbours, in its global diplomatic journey.