South Asia Policy India
Source: DNA

India counters China after the border standoff. India is using its foreign policy to counter the dragon challenge. China has used its belt and road initiative to turn the neighbor’s hostile. However, foreign policy is ensuring to counter them in every way possible.

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Indian officials are visiting the neighbors during the pandemic talks about the seriousness of how India counters China.

Nepal

Foreign Secretary Harsha Vardhan Shringla visited Nepal since the border dispute with the neighboring country. The relation between the two countries has been rocky ever since Nepal released a new map including the Indian territory of Kalapani-Lipulekh as a Nepalese region.

Shringla discussed priority access to medicine and vaccines being manufactured in India to fight the pandemic. As China trying to revive the Belt and Initiative, India is planning to expedite the infrastructure projects in Nepal including a dam.

However, things will not be easy with the Communist Government at the helm in Nepal.

Sri Lanka

The Rajapaksa government in Sri Lanka has always been friendly to China. However, India is trying to revive its relation with the island nation. NSA Ajit Doval visited the second time in the year to the country. There have been many discussions on a range of bilateral issues such as defense cooperation, intelligence sharing, and maritime security. There are talks on reviving the tri-nation maritime security talks along with the Maldives.

Sri Lanka has recently spoken about the ‘India First’ policy.

Bangladesh

India is also holding a virtual summit with PM Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. Both the countries are talking about speeding up connectivity projects. China has tried to woo Bangladesh, one of the strongest Indian allies with a host of promises.

Seychelles

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar visited the island nation. India has promised to complete the infrastructure project worth $91mn. China has tried to increase cooperation with Seychelle with transfers of aircraft and naval ships.

Seychelles is also part of the Sagar Mission to strengthen the cooperation and security in the IOR or Indian Ocean Region. Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives were the first nations to receive assistance under the program.

Maldives

India has extended a $500mn package to the Maldives to connect capital Male to three nearby islands. After the departure of Abdullah Yameen, a pro-china strongman, relationships between the two friendly countries have improved again under President Ibrahim Solih.

Vietnam

India has deepened its military cooperation with Vietnam. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has assured Vietnam of all help to modernize the armed forces including weapon supplies, fighter pilots and submarines, and maritime cooperation.

Afghanistan

India has also announced this week that it would help Kabul build the Shahtoot Dam on the Kabul river for the residents of Afghanistan.

Overall, India has provided aids to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Seychelles in recent times.

This comes along with multi-level cooperation with the US, Japan, and Australia.