Do you think that India needs a substantive and defined account of its own objectives for steering through these tough times? Examine this in the light of Indian Foreign Policy challenges.

Published: June 28, 2019

In the one month of the new government taking guard in India, India has made significant strides in terms of foreign policy. PM Modi has recently met some of the biggest world leaders, at the sidelines of G20 and SCO summit. He is again slated to meet the top three world leaders in the coming months. The Indian PM has already carved out his road on a range of issues but each solution leads to a forked outcome.
Trade: The US declaration of tariffs on China and the subsequent trade war had substantiated Indian concerns about the unfair trade policies of the Chinese government. But, as the US also did the same with India, the Indian government had to change stance. Modi will be a part of many international groups in the coming months and which will address the growing unilateralism of US trade policies. India may opt for joining the RCEP the most prominent trade group as US has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and if India and US fail to handle their trade issues, it is possible the RCEP will emerge as a powerful trade bloc for Indian interests.
Energy
India will have to walk a tightrope in the wake of US sanctions and ending waivers for continuing to buy Iranian oil. India will have to make a tough choice of listening to US demands or maintaining contact with Iran. If she picks former then it will have to compromise its dreams about connectivity through the Chabahar port and the International North-South Transport Corridor led by Russia.
Communications
India is faced with another tough choice as it prepares to launch its 5G network. US administration has clearly stated that India should not allow Chinese company Huawei from 5G trials and launch else US will cut all the intelligence and security cooperation. China too has clarified that India should make an informed decision and has opposed any move to exclude Huawei. Even for the Russian S-400 missiles, it will be a difficult situation as US has said that going ahead with the deal will invite sanctions and also shut the door to all kinds of Russian high-tech aircraft deals.
India thus needs a more prudent and clear approach and a fixated geopolitical outlook. It should also put demands on these foreign powers. It also looks to re-embrace non-alignment.

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