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India Turns EastInternational Engagement and US-China Rivalry$
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Frédéric Grare

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190859336

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190859336.001.0001

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India’s Look East Policy and Asian Institutional Architecture

India’s Look East Policy and Asian Institutional Architecture

Chapter:
(p.179) 8 India’s Look East Policy and Asian Institutional Architecture
Source:
India Turns East
Author(s):

Frédéric Grare

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190859336.003.0009

India’s attempt to join the process of regional integration was marked by ambivalence. India did bypass its own region to seek integration in the adjacent one, ignoring SAARC to seek membership in some of the ASEAN led institutions. Operating by consensus through non-binding agreements, ASEAN-centered regionalism suited India’s needs for recognition and protected it against the negative repercussions of regional tensions while preventing the rise of potential regional hegemonys. Through its participation in a regional security architecture led by ASEAN rules, India established a normative buffer while being able to influence decisions. However, ASEAN’s centrality (i.e.; consensus based and a unanimous position reflecting common strategic vision) is gradually being eroded by US-China proxy struggle for influence, eroding the foundation of India’s relations with ASEAN, as it may draw New Delhi into the zero-sum game situation it has so far tried to avoid.

Keywords:   Asian Institutional architecture, Southeast Asian ASEAN-centered regionalism, ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers Association, East Asia Summit, ASEAN Centrality, US China relations, India security strategy

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