India’s rise as an Asia–Pacific power: rhetoric and reality

International relations Australia Pacific Area Asia

India’s role in the Asia–Pacific is still circumscribed by a number of restraints that act to shape a ‘continental’ posture to its security—despite its ‘Look East’ rhetoric.

Factors determining the continental posture include India’s difficult internal and border security environments; its large number of people still living in poverty; its strategy of ‘inclusive growth’, which diverts resources from classic force projection capabilities; the problems of corruption and poor governance; the existence of a negative feedback loop between those domestic ills and problems in the equally troubled South Asian neighbourhood; emerging environmental and resource problems; and China’s continuing ability to fish in South Asia’s troubled waters. South Asia is a difficult neighbourhood for India’s evolution as a world power.

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