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What we are witnessing is the Act East Policy of India and it has dist...

  Dec 08, 2016

What we are witnessing is the Act East Policy of India and it has distinct content. Justify the statement.

Under the new leadership in Delhi, India’s Look East policy has become upgraded to Act East policy, which envisages accelerated across-the-board engagement East Asia. India-ASEAN relations are improving in both economic and strategic arenas. FTA in services is being signed. The strategic content of the relationship, the backbone of the Act east policy,  is deepening as the two sides step up their collaboration across a range of strategic issues, including trans-national terrorism, maritime piracy and nuclear proliferation.
 
Against the backdrop of the churn in the South China Sea, India has consistently argued for freedom of navigation and has pressed for the resolution of all maritime territorial disputes in accordance with the UN Law of the Seas. Besides, "Act East" policy  is drawing India closer to not only Japan and Australia in the Pacific but also to smaller Southeast Asian nations most of who have contending territorial claims with China like Vietnam. In 2014, India and Vietnam vowed to strengthen their defence cooperation.
 
There is a greater convergence  in US-India interests particularly in US rebalance to Asia and India's Act East policy as was stated in the India-US Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region released when President Obama visited India in January 2015.  Thus, Act East policy can be said to acquire strategic importance more than earlier. It includes reinvigorated relations with Australia South Korea and Japan as well.