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India’s foreign policy: Challenges and Achievements


In this piece on India’s foreign policy, the author deals with the challenges and the achievements of the Modi-led Indian government in the field of International-affairs.

By Arpit Gupta

Strategies are never revealed, they are reflected in the person’s tasks. The Modi government has been working on the strategy of bringing foreign investment and enhancing economic cooperation with the strategically located, powerful, and developed countries of the world. The exploitation of the Indian market by China’s marketing experts had been a matter of concern for Indian government since last 5-6 years. The Modi government has come up with a planned agenda of convincing the countries of Indo-Pacific region to deal with the China’s increasing dominance in the Asian economy.

Modi’s foreign policy and his agenda of “MAKE IN INDIA” to bring foreign direct investment (FDI) in the manufacturing sector have been the prime issues trending in Indian economic and political domains. Modi has inherited foreign policy legacy of the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayi. Modi’s mind has been playing many tricks in these two years of his government and his decisions are not clearly understood by the common people of India. Since the work has not been on the ground, it appears to be only virtual. But for the sake of the country’s development, Modi’s efforts to enhance trade and economic co-operations with neighboring countries have been outstanding and his “ACT EAST POLICY”has gained an unexpected success till now. Modi’s foreign visits have been very much strategic and his visit to Japan, South Korea, US, etc. has given his government a lot to praise.

Modi’s intention to balance the economic upliftment of China in the Asian context has compelled Modi to work with China, which is the reason behind the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) between the two countries. Moreover, China, being the leading exporter of capital and technology and second largest economy of the world can never be ignored by any government in New Delhi. Modi’s focus on Japan is an important step in the Asian context as Japan is the leading country in the field of technology which India needs. Moreover, Japan is the only way  for India to enhance its economic importance and its dominance in Indo-Pacific region without any strategic alliance with China. The Indo-Pacific region has its own significance in the economic development of India and the visits of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to the neighboring countries located on the bank of Indian/Pacific ocean (for instance Vietnam) shows how important are they for India to strengthen its hold on the region.

India has often been confused regarding the path it should chose in dealing with the prominent economic giants. Whether to align with Japan-US or to go with China-Russia has been the dilemma facing the Indian foreign policy makers. India guards the sanctity of national sovereignty almost as zealously as China and Russia do. But Indian economic experts are more “tending” towards US-Japan because of their dominance on the world and their economic stability.

Only with time, one may be able to make a judgment regarding the success or failure of Modi’s foreign policy, but it is undeniable that world’s economic powers have taken note of India’s emergence economically and have recognized the fact that India is politically stable enough to maintain its economic progress.

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

picture from-

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes.
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes.

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.