Where is India, we need it, says ASEAN

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by Rage, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Where is India, we need it, says ASEAN

    Indrani Bagchi l Nov 17, 2012 l 10 00 IST


    PHNOM PENH: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives in Phnom Penh on Sunday, he is likely to hear a common refrain in this part of the world: India is sorely needed here, but India is too slow.

    It's a critical time for Asean countries -- they are struggling to remain cohesive and stay relevant. They are caught in a bruising territorial dispute with the big Heavy in the region, China. And now the even bigger US is sailing into their waters and telling them how to stand up to China, with its help. US defense secretary Leon Panetta told everyone he who would listen on Friday, "we are deepening our military engagement with our allies and partners in this region in order to ensure that we are able to promote security and prosperity in this region for many years to come."

    For many, India is a natural balancer in this region. India struck roots here hundreds of years ago, and there are signs all around. But in the current strategic debate roiling the region, India is a peripheral presence. India's only statement so far has been to endorse the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation and mineral resources in the troubled wats of the South China Sea. In a joint statement with the Chinese, India also emphasized its stakes in the Asia-Pacific. That lone position by the MEA, India believes may have absolved it of all other responsibility. With $80 billion in bilateral trade, India needs a louder ASEAN policy.

    "Asean needs India now, not 10 years later," says Kavi Chongkittavorn, a regional expert, of the Jakarta-based ERIA group. "we need strategic support from India about the way forward. How do we deal with the advent of big powers and still retain our relevance?" there is much talk about "Asean-led" and the "centrality" of Asean, but everyone knows its in danger of being swamped.

    China watchers here say Beijing is likely to get more tough in the next six months, as the leadership transition will only be completed by next March. This is the time, they say, India needs to ramp up its engagement and support in this region. But there is no Indian voice that is heard here. Seoung Rathavy, secretary of state of the Cambodian foreign ministry, said 200 senior officials have gathered here to discuss the agenda of the key summits. She told journalists, "implementation of a declaration of conduct on the South China Sea is crucial for political and social stability of Asean."

    The South China Sea disputes would be discussed at every meeting in the several summits that will be held here. The Chinese are unlikely to agree to the declaration of conduct on the issue, regarding it as their sovereign territory. Indonesian experts, familiar with their country's position, said very little forward movement would be expected.

    For many, the US "pivot" is a mixed blessing. While many countries here are happy to get external support as they deal with the rise of China, there remains some uncertainty about whether the US would actually come to their help. For many, Vietnam and Philippines have been "burnt". In 2011, the US stopped short of fully backing up these countries during their respective stand-offs with China on the South China Sea.

    Cambodia needs the kind of defence interest from India like Vietnam has. India should offer joint exercises with everyone in this region. Most of them have old naval fleets, and even with modest means, India can help upgrade them. In fact, India needs to work harder with naval cooperation with all the ASEAN countries. In 2011, Indian naval vessels paid port calls to many in the region before ending up in Shanghai. That should become a run-of-the-mill affair. A look at the map will show how India, with its still superior navy, can successfully block off the Malacca Straits for the Chinese if a conflict breaks out in the Himalayas. For India to carry out a successful blockade, it needs all the littoral countries on its side.

    India, many Asean analysts here believe, should openly reiterate its position on an issue which will deeply affect India's own future. There is a sense that India is piggybacking on the US. Even Cambodia, which is believed to be close to China, is crying out for an alternative partner. The India linkages are for all to see, from the Ganesha idols to the Mekong river.

    "Connectivity" is India's mantra but it's China that's putting stakes on the ground. China is doing more on the Mekong river and China is building the Kunming-Singapore links, while India's trilateral highway to Thailand through Myanmar will take many more years to realise. The wasted opportunities are stacking up.


    Where is India, we need it, Asean says - The Times of India
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
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  3. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Discuss: India's response to the South China Sea situation, and its engagement with ASEAN at large.
     
  4. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    it wasnt that long ago when china was on the the rise and india not quite yet -perhaps in the 1980'2-90's and definitely before that in the 70's that the ASEAN nations glorified china and turned their backs on india - having their own version of shortsighted vision

    ..... now that their back-sides and front-sides are being directly threatened , they have the cheek to ask where india is ......... well unlike the usa who sends their men to defend others , i believe india should sell these jonny-come-lately aseasn countries battleships

    and destroyers military equipment of all kinds etc etc - let them dang well pay for it and let them man it with their own men and women

    - india can offer training - and they can pay for that too !
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    What is required is an Asian NATO as far as security goes. Nothing less.
     
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  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Friends and interests change in geo politics over a period of time. India was shunned by the west. So should we stand up now and ask them to get lost?

    India does need that region for its own interests more than anything else. It's a blessing in disguise that the very countries are now asking for india ro be there when they once didn't look at as we can establish a hold there. It will be interesting how the foreign policy mandarins play this.
     
  7. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    sure we do need the SCS as a staging area to pump the coastal cities of china

    nowher did i say to tell em to git - i said pay - and i think they should

    we could use the money to develop our own defence manufacturing , which is way behind china's

    pay they must ....get lost was your words not mine :wave:
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  8. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    India is too busy tackling domestic turbulence which is no less than a political crisis. greatest phenomenon is that it is perennial. it never ends and thats why indian parliament cant think of brunei because in bihar's village there is some controversy lead by universe's most useless human lifeform. Indian wealth is not a reserve in it self- its life support because short sighted policies frequently need such support system to make economy and nation stay afloat.
    lastly no indian leader is nous enough to think of any topic beyond its constituency
     
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  9. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    You mean like SEATO?

    Southeast Asia Treaty Organization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

     
  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    bose and W.G.Ewald like this.
  11. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    There is only 2 problems in your suggestion:

    1. It is quite hard to ask south east asian countries to stand together against China--their biggiest customer and major banker. Besides, some problems between themselves are even bigger than China, how can you organise such a group whose members are more interested in fighting each other than against China?

    2.If you really want to promote india's role in Asia, you really can't expect any significant payment from them for your help because they generaly accept offers from USA or China for free or almost free.
     
  12. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    I would suggest an alliance of four major countries here India, USA, Japan & Vietnam ONLY no more no less... the ones who can take on China head on strategically. The key is the small and committed anti chineese block.

    An ideal combination ones with established technology leadership with upcomming economic growth engine...
     
  13. aerokan

    aerokan Regular Member

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    Then how abt forming a US-Japan-India-SK-Australia alliance as paying members? And it's upto the ASEAN countries whether to join or not depending on their willingness and relations with their banker (China). Vietnam and Phillipines will join. What would you do if you belong to the rest of the ASEAN countries? Would you be away from the alliance as a side-kick of China or be a part of it? The answer would be pretty obvious to many here :namaste::thumb:
     
  14. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Japan & SK? SK hates Japan even more than China for history. They also have their dispute on island. It is quite hard ask these 2 to form an alliance aginst a third country except north korea.

    Australia? A country who is thousands miles away from China and make piles of money from their trade relationship with China. Tell me what they can get from such an alliance? You have to realise that being USA's alliance and join a group against the world second economy are completely different things. It requires lot more from you and bring lot more risks to you.

    USA? So far, they are still keep themselves away from disputes in asian. That would make peole wonder how much they want to start a new cold war in Asia.

    Until today, Chinese military power is still far inferior to USA. The only real Chinese threat is from economy. Unfortrunately, most of asian countries including SK, Japan, Australia, Vietnam, etc, would rather work with Chinese than Americans on this front.

    A side-kick of China? Maybe. But at what cost? Turning their own homeland into a battlefield? Going through another financial storm which would bring far more damage than 1997?
    And what can they get from joning such an alliance?
     
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  15. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    An alliance is mostly driven by mutual benefit or common threat. Recall Pakistan was once a member of SEATO :laugh: How dramatic! "National interest" changes from time to time.

    Back to East Asia --->
    Statue of 'comfort woman' erected outside Japanese Embassy in Seoul | The Japan Times Online
    [​IMG]
     
  16. aerokan

    aerokan Regular Member

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    As always, you miss the point my friend. How many countries you need in alliance against China to contain China? Give me a number. I will fit some. If China doesn't mind forming alliances which doesn't make a difference, they can you explain why China protests every other day against the meetings between countries? Why is China shit scared like a paranoid little kid on a rollercoaster ride?

    Why is every other country in your neighbourhood feeling the anti-China wave? You do realize that the second largest economy is still trying to mess with the first largest economy.. don't you? If you understand that, you can also understand why the remaining big economies will gang up against the second largest economy with the active co-operation of the first largest. China can indeed compete with US in terms of economy, but then again Chinese holdings are in US bonds which effectively nullifies your strategic advantage whatsoever you have.

    U must be pretty delusional if you think the Asian countries give priority to China over US. There is a reason why this thread is about Indian involvement. If India is involved in alliance with US, it effectively nullifies the negatives of distrust of US among Asian nations as it is well known that India follows independent foreign policy.

    Alliances are made when there is a security threat from a third party. Here the threat for entire asia, is China, barring a few. Financial storm is gonna come one way or the other. That is inevitable. Joining the alliance means security from the real and empty threats from the rouge nation - China. China will think twice before threatening the neighbours with an alliance against it. Why do you think an alliance against China is a risk to only non-Chinese members? Don't forget that China will be screwed too.
     
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  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Sure ASEAN requires India.

    UPA, he's in his hammock
    And a thousand mile away . . .,
    (Captain, art thou sleeping there below?)
    Slung atween the round shot in the Bay,
    And dreaming all the time of FDI ho.

    Yonder lumes the island,
    Yonder lie the ships,
    With sailor lads a-dancing heel-an'-toe,
    And the shore-lights flashing,
    And the night-tide dashing,
    He sees it all so plain . . ly
    As he saw it long ago.

    apologies to Drake's Drum
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The choice is between the Devil and the Deep Sea!

    Japan can be leashed by the US but China is the Flaming Dragon raring to go and burn the world!

    And China is the closest ally to the irrational North Korea, of which China has very marginal control.
     
  19. VatsaOfBhrigus

    VatsaOfBhrigus Tihar Jail Banned

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    Per other people analysis China cannot support blue water navy. I don't believe it has anything to get by actually attacking India. It only benefits from keeping Indias growth rate lower.

    The point here is its ----ing currency manipulator , its cheating, but no one can do shit about it, cause if they do global manufacturing will be in crazy tailspin...
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    On the issue as to whether the Asian countries will prefer the US or China, it is quite simply that they would prefer the US.

    US has no territorial ambitions in Asia, nor does the US covet any natural resources of Asia since it is not critically needed to keep the US buoyant.

    On the other hand, China is on a territorial quest and 'teaching' all and sundry around the place 'a lesson'.

    And to top it all, they base their co called claims from maps drawn by ambitious daydreamers pulled out from the past, the authenticity being doubtful.

    In short, China is very shady and slippery in their dealings and claims.

    Therefore, China surely is no heartthrob of the Asian countries except Pakistan and Cambodia.
     
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  21. VatsaOfBhrigus

    VatsaOfBhrigus Tihar Jail Banned

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    Usa has major stakes in south korea and japan. They obviously have interest in asia region. More towards west though , towards central asia afganistan pakistan region, that just happens to be the shortest path for exporting oil from central asian oil fields.
     

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