India’s own string of pearls: Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives

On 7 March, Shiv Shankar Menon, India’s National Security Advisor, announced that the Indian Ocean island states of Seychelles and Mauritius had joined India’s naval arrangement with Sri Lanka and the Maldives in a new Indian Ocean security grouping that some have called the ‘IO-5’.

The new arrangement signals a significant consolidation of India’s leading security role among the Indian Ocean islands. It is a manifestation of last year’s announcement by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that henceforth India should be seen as a ‘net security provider to the region.’ While Mr Singh did not specify the boundaries of India’s ‘region’ it was clear that much of the initial focus was on the Indian Ocean islands. Continue reading

Beijing beefing up ‘strategic triangle’ with Russia and India to counter U.S. containment policy

A series of diplomatic moves among the three members of the BRICS group has thrown into relief Beijing’s latest strategy to counter what it perceives as an anti-China containment policy spearheaded by Washington.

Earlier this week, the Indian and Russian prime ministers, respectively Manmohan Singh and Dmitry Medvedev made separate trips to Beijing at the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang. Last week, the Indian leader was in Moscow where he concluded energy and arms-procurement deals in meetings with President Vladimir Putin and Medvedev. Continue reading

India to deploy 50,000 additional troops along China border

NEW DELHI: Boosting Army’s war fighting capabilities along the line of actual control (LAC), the government on Wednesday has given the go ahead to the creation of a corps including deployment of 50,000 additional troops along the China border at a cost of around Rs 65,000 crore.

The Cabinet committee on security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the proposal in its meeting, sources told PTI. Continue reading

India and South Korea :Strategic ‘Partners’ With Long term Goals

India and South Korea share remarkable common interests – all the more remarkable considering how far apart they are geographically, in area, popula­tion, average income, living conditions and climate. And then consider how different are Indians and Koreans in ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, religious beliefs and influences. It’s hard to imagine two such important na­tions and societies with so little in common, yet so close­ly bound by security and economic considerations.

Yes, appearances can be extremely de­ceiving in a fast-moving high-tech world in which potentially cataclysmic military pressures, on top of domestic political power struggles and the need for trade and commerce, outweigh so much else. After considering all the differences, just look at all India and South Korea have in common. Continue reading