China And Pakistan as Factors in India’s Strategic Policy

  • Debamita Banerjee Assistant Professor, Dinabandhu Andrews College, Kolkata
Keywords: Look East Policy; Strategic diplomacy; Southeast Asia; security dynamics


India’s Look East policy has been a significant strategic diplomacy in Indian foreign policy formation. The contextual specificities of the security dynamics of India’s Look East policy came to be a turning point in Indian foreign policy in the 1990s when the foreign policy of India underwent a significant change. China and Pakistan have been the major irritants in the way of India’s policy towards Southeast Asia. India’s policy towards Southeast Asia has oscillated between suspicion and alliance. The major security threat to India is the strategic nexus formed by China and Pakistan. Moreover Pakistan has been using terror as a part of its strategy of “proxy war”. This paper builds on the distinctive principle of contesting the earlier modular formations in terms of India’s complicated strategic balancing of power relations in South and Southeast Asia. This examination of the interbalancing of triangular and bilateral factors will evolve into a proper discursive model for explaining this complex strategic relationship.    



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Critics like Satu P Limaye points out that Prime Minister Goth Chok Tong refers to India “as one wing of ASEAN’s jumbo jet, with Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) AND Japan as the other wing”. “India’s Relations with Southeast Asia Take A Wing”, Southeast Asian Affairs, pp. 39-51. 2003. See also Prasanth Parameswaran. “The Future of ASEAN-Indian Relations”. World Politics Review. March 2010. Accessed on 26.10.2013

See G V Naidu.“Looking East: India and Southeast Asia”. Accessed 27.10.2013

For a detailed discussion on different phases of transformation of India’s Look East Policy, see Sayantani Sen Mazumdar’s “The North-East Steering India’s Look East Policy”. Accessed 23.10.2013

For a detailed history of the evolution of Sino-Indian conflictual relationship, see Keshav Mishra’s Rapproachement Across the Himalayas: Emerging India-Chaina Relations in Post Cold War Period ( 1947-2003), New Delhi, Kalpaz Publications, 2004

See Singh, Swaran. “Afgan Factor in Reviving the Sino-Pak Axis” in Laruelle, Marlene, Jean-Francois Huchet et al. (eds). China and India in Central Asia: A New “Great Game”? New York. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. pp. 90-95

See Joel Ruet’s “Economic Reforms, Privatisations, and Public-Private Developments in India since 1991” in Hutchet, Jean-Francois, Xavier Richet & Joel Ruet (eds). Globalisation in China, India and Russia. Centre de Sciences Humaines ( CSH), New Delhi and Universite Paris, Sorbonne. 2007. pp. 75-94. It is also relevant to consider Ahluwalia, Montek Singh. “India in a Globalising World” in K R Gupta (Ed). Liberalisation and Globalisation of Indian Economy. New Delhi. Atlantic Publishers. Vol VII. pp. 41-48. 2008

See Lall, Rollie. Understanding China and India: Security Implications for the US and the World. Connecticut, Praeger Security International ( An imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group). 2006. P.133


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