India needs to shed its ambivalent, tentative and incremental approach towards its relationship with the western democratic world. In the changing global geopolitical environment, in the wake of China’s growing belligerence and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, India needs to tap the emerging opportunities and realise its potential as a technological power. The ongoing summit […]
India needs to shed its ambivalent, tentative and incremental approach towards its relationship with the western democratic world. In the changing global geopolitical environment, in the wake of China’s growing belligerence and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, India needs to tap the emerging opportunities and realise its potential as a technological power. The ongoing summit of the Quadrilateral Forum in Tokyo provides the platform for New Delhi to become a key source of robust security and economic policies. The possibilities for pooling India’s technological resources with its partners of the Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprising the US, India, Japan and Australia) to promote peace and prosperity across the Indo-Pacific are immense. Technology is at the core of the new Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) launched in Tokyo in the presence of the leaders of the Quad members including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India can join its Quad partners in drawing up new rules to govern critical technologies that are rapidly transforming the global economic order and international security politics. For India, which is not part of any region-wide trade agreement, the IPEF opens the door for economic reengagement with Asia. The Quad has become the vehicle to shape the techno-politics of the Indo-Pacific and also to counter the growing influence of China. It serves as a critical forum not just for cooperation among democracies but also for ensuring an open, free, and inclusive Indo-Pacific. It should not be seen merely as an anti-China alliance but as a multilateral forum working on a wide range of areas of cooperation to ensure regional peace.
The war in Ukraine also poses an internal challenge in the Quad. Three members — the US, Japan and Australia — have taken an unequivocal stand against Russia’s aggression, while India’s position has been one of studied neutrality. For the first time since the Second World War, the Ukraine war has reversed the positions of the West and China on the question of territorial sovereignty so deeply valued by the Asian nations. It is the US and the West that are defending the sovereignty of states in Europe and Asia, while Russia and China are grabbing the territory of other states by force. India will certainly stand to benefit from such a formidable grouping of the democracies, a treaty that holds the potential to emerge as a decisive factor in ensuring a stable balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region. The Tokyo summit will review the decisions taken at last year’s Washington conclave on advancing technological collaboration in a wide range of areas. New Delhi needs to move quickly to seize the emerging external opportunities for deeper technological partnerships with the United States and the Quad.
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