Asia in India’s Foreign Policy Perspective

Asia/Hong_KongAsia in India’s Foreign Policy Perspective
    Asia/Hong_KongAsia in India’s Foreign Policy Perspective


      Asia in India’s Foreign Policy Perspective


      Mr. Rajiv Sikri


      November 23, 2009


      4:30 pm


      The Reading Room (Room G-4), G/F, Tang Chi Ngong Building, The University of Hong Kong




      (Tel) (852) 2859-2460


      With the rise of Asia in world affairs, India’s foreign policy is increasingly focused on Asia. In the first place, India has to give far more attention to its immediate neighbours in South Asia not only in order to deal with the security challenges facing India but also to give its immediate neighbours a stake in India’s prosperity and development. India’s geographical position puts India at the heart of Asia, with links to all sub-regions viz. West Asia, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. This poses huge challenges but also affords it new opportunities to India. India’s “Look East” policy that encompasses India’s relations with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region has become an increasingly important dimension of India’s foreign policy. With all countries there is an unprecedented level of engagement and much greater mutual trust and confidence.

      China remains an exception. Mutual suspicion between China and India has increased of late. Contributing factors are the territorial dispute, China’s policies in South Asia and the Tibetan question. China will remain a pressing and difficult foreign policy challenge for India, which has to deal with China as a potential cooperative partner, as a strategic competitor but above all as a difficult neighbour.

      About the Speaker

      Mr. Rajiv Sikri was a career diplomat for over 36 years with the Indian Foreign Service. He retired in 2006 as Secretary in India’s Ministry of External Affairs with responsibility for India’s relations with the Asia-Pacific region, the Arab world, Israel, Iran and Central Asia. He has held several important senior positions in India, served as India’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan, and has lived and worked in Moscow, Paris, New York and Kathmandu.

      He is the author of Challenge and Strategy: Rethinking India’s Foreign Policy, New Delhi: Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd., 2009.