Critique on India’s Foreign Policy in S. Asia and in the Region


Critique on India’s Foreign Policy in S. Asia and in the Region

Narendra Modi government’s foreign policy in a multipolar world,  has been a subject of debate, mostly praise for its fine balancing acts in a world surrounded by conflict.

Sushant Singh (Senior Fellow at CPR) specifically examines policies towards China, Maldives, Palestine, Canada and Qatar.

On China: Chinese President Xi Jinping,  “treats Modi with disdain as Beijing refuses to engage constructively with New Delhi on the 42-month-old border crisis in Ladakh, where Indian soldiers are unable to reach 40% of the patrolling points (some of them well within the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control) that they were accessing till 2020.” 

On Maldives: Maldives, a tiny country but with strategic importance, “has asked the 70 Indian soldiers stationed there to leave the country.” India’s response to this will be keenly watched in India as well as in China.

On Canada: The downturn in diplomatic ties with Canada “only hurts Indians because the removal of 40 Canadian diplomats from India will mean far fewer and delayed visas for Indians to that country.” The policy is being managed through backchannels and thorough subtle interventions by allies and friends of both countries.

On  Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka “refuses to listen to Indian warnings as it allows Chinese research vessel Shi Yan 6 to dock at Colombo.” This has been a long standing concern with India. Sri Lanka, like India, is trying a fine balancing act between its two giant neighbours.

On Bhutan: And  Bhutan has the “first ever visit by its foreign minister to China as the two countries work towards establishment of diplomatic ties and agree on a border deal that will impinge on India’s security interests in the eastern sector.” Closer Bhutan, China ties, particularly on resolution of the border, is likely to impact geo-politics in the Himalayan region.

On Palestine: The government’s  abstention from the UN  on Gaza, write Singh “was a scathing comment on the pragmatism of a government and a leader boasting to lead the Global South. New Delhi was the only capital between Tel Aviv in the west and Manila in the east that did not vote for a ceasefire in Gaza. In fact, India…. was the only country in South Asia that did not vote in favour of the resolution.”

On Qatar: And on Qatar, the government said it was was 'deeply shocked’ by the death penalty to eight retired officers of the Indian Navy. From MEA’s statement, “it is not clear what precisely the Modi government is ‘deeply shocked’ about.” The death sentence or “its own inability to deal with the situation that has presented itself for the past 14 months?”

All Neighbours Article