Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

Finally democracy triumphed in Myanmar. Can India leverage its democratic institutions to further cement its relationship with ‘the land of golden pagodas’?

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

China-Myanmar New Passage

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : China-Myanmar New Passage

Mains level : Chinese encroachment in India's neighborhood

The shipments on a newly-launched railway line under the China-Myanmar New Passage from the Myanmar border to the key commercial hub of Chengdu in western China have started.

China-Myanmar New Passage

  • The passage provides China a new road-rail transportation channel to the Indian Ocean, were delivered last week, state media reported on Tuesday.
  • The transport corridor involves a sea-road-rail link.
  • It connects the logistics lines of Singapore, Myanmar, and China, and is currently the most convenient land and sea channel linking the Indian Ocean with southwest China.
  • Goods from Singapore reached Yangon Port, arriving by ship through the Andaman Sea of the northeastern Indian Ocean, and were then transported by road to Lincang on the Chinese side of the Myanmar-China border in Yunnan province.
  • The new railway line that runs from the border town of Lincang to Chengdu, a key trade hub in western China, completes the corridor.

Why does India need to be watchful?

  • From the perspective of security, India’s border with Myanmar has historically presented serious security challenges.
  • Chinese troops had used the Myanmar route to threaten India’s North-eastern States prior to the 1962 war.
  • In the run-up to the India-China war of 1962, Chinese troops had commissioned local muleteers in Northern Myanmar to facilitate the movement of troops and war logistics to challenge India’s Northeast.

Way forward

  • The work on infrastructure projects in India’s Northeastern States needs to be expedited to ensure speedy mobilization of India’s own troops to face different contingencies.
  • Monitoring of developments including deployment of space assets to ensure that India is not caught unaware would be desirable.
  • Most importantly, India on its part needs to substantially step up its own game in Myanmar and proactively engage Myanmar in the realm of the infrastructure upgrade.

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By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

An unquiet neighbourhood

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- Factors to consider in finding solution to conflicts in Afghanistan and Myanmar

The article highlights the inherent difficulty in finding a solution to the two conflicts raging on in India’s neigbourhood.

Tale of two conflicts in neighbourhood

  • Efforts to end two major conflicts in India’s neighbourhood have become intense.
  • To the west, a peace summit on Afghanistan, seeking to end decades of conflict there, was also scheduled to take place in Istanbul over the weekend.
  • To the east, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has produced a diplomatic opening with Myanmar’s military leadership.
  • Afghan conflict go back to the late 1970s; since then we have seen different phases of the conflict.
  • Although the crisis in Myanmar appears recent, the tension between civil-military relations is not new.
  • Back in 1988, the army annulled the huge mandate won by Aung San Suu Kyi and unleashed massive repression.

3 Common Themes in the effort at peace and reconciliation

1) Ending violence

  • The first is about ending violence.
  • In Afghanistan it has been near impossible to get a resurgent Taliban to agree to stop its attacks on government forces or the civilian population.
  • The ASEAN initiative in Myanmar calls for an immediate cessation of violence and utmost restraint from all sides.
  • The opposition demanding restoration of democracy might find this rather ironic, since it is the army that is employing violence and has shown scant restraint.

2) Dialogue among all parties

  • The second theme in the ASEAN initiative — “constructive dialogue among all parties” to “seek a peaceful solution” — is also common to all peace processes.
  • The Taliban found all kinds of excuses to delay a dialogue with the Kabul government that it always saw as illegitimate. So far, it has avoided one.
  • In Myanmar, the army might be ready to engage the opposition in a prolonged dialogue and defuse international pressure; but it will be hard for the victims of the coup to accept a dialogue on the army’s terms.

3) Third-party mediator

  • The Afghan conflict has long been internationalised.
  • All major powers, including regional actors and neighbours, have acquired stakes in the way the Afghan conflict is resolved.
  •  This unfortunately makes the construction of an internal settlement that much harder.
  • In Myanmar, the ASEAN has set the ball rolling by agreeing that a special envoy will be traveling to the region and will engage with all parties to the conflict.

Cost-benefit in diplomacy

  • The US is hoping that the Taliban will moderate some of its hardline positions given its need for significant international economic assistance for reconstruction, political legitimacy.
  • In Myanmar, too, the international community will hope the military would want to avoid the risks of political isolation and economic punishment.
  • But how the Taliban and the Myanmar army calculate these costs and benefits could be very different.
  • Both have long experience of surviving external pressure and enduring sanctions.

Conclusion

Few civil wars have seen the kind of massive external effort to change the internal dynamics as in Afghanistan; but to no avail. In Myanmar, it is not clear how far the international community might go. The prospects for positive change in Afghanistan and Myanmar, then, do not look too bright in the near term.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

On Myanmar, India has to decide whether it is on the side of the future

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- India-Myanmar relations

The article highlights the factors India needs to consider in formulating its response to the crisis in Myanmar.

Implications of Myanmar issue for India

  • India, because of its proximity to Myanmar, its geopolitical role, and its interests, will inevitably be drawn into the train of events.
  • The most immediate challenge is, of course, dealing with the refugee crisis that this coup occasions.
  • The rich and powerful nations have not pulled their weight in crafting an adequate multilateral response.
  • Myanmar’s other neighbours, and especially ASEAN countries, are also unlikely to intervene.
  • The principle of non-refoulement has to be the cornerstone of any civilised state’s response to a politically induced humanitarian disaster.
  • It is not clear where India stands on this.

Factors India should consider in its Myanmar policy

1) Protestors are widespread

  • The protests for democracy are widespread, involve young people, and are driven by a genuine opposition to military rule.
  • India has to decide whether it is on the side of the future. 

2) Concerns of Northeastern states

  • Northeastern states like Manipur and Mizoram which will immediately bear the costs of helping refugees are calling for a more generous and imaginative policy.
  • The concerns of the Northeast states have often been historically sidelined in India’s handling of the “trijunction”.
  • This was partly because of counterinsurgency fears, and partly because of suspicion of political forces in the Northeast.
  • But ignoring accommodative sentiments in the Northeast, would be to potentially signal their marginality in shaping India’s calculations.

3) Reputation for humanitarian concern

  • The counterinsurgency and subversion fears have to be intelligently handled.
  • Relying only on cooperation with the Myanmar military, without support for the local population, we will once again be setting ourselves up for long-term problems.
  • A broadbased reputation for humanitarian concerns and the welfare of people is a strategic asset, not a liability in the long term.
  • India should also now have the confidence that it can both politically and militarily handle any risks that occasionally arise in the context of doing the decent thing.
  • But by closing down its borders, it is not sending a signal of strength but one of weakness.

4) Geopolitical factors

  • With every major power, from Russia to China now seeing Myanmar in terms of geopolitical terms, the stakes for India are going to be high.
  • But its military seems more repressive, and its elites, including Aung San Suu Kyi, have been more conservative in harnessing democratic and progressive impulses.
  • So under such circumstances, it will be tempting for India to deeply engage with the military.
  • There is also a great deal of exaggeration about Myanmar’s economic importance to India.
  • Certainly, connectivity and trade with Myanmar provide momentum for India’s eastward interests.
  • But the benefits from engagement with Myanmar are not so great that India cannot put them aside to act on a modicum of principle.

Way forward

  • Presumably, India wants to be a key interlocutor in two contexts.
  • It wants to be a key player in shaping a global response to the crisis.
  • And it wants to have some role in helping with a settlement towards a less repressive transition within Myanmar.
  • But for both of those roles, it is important that India has widespread credibility with the different groups and movements inside Myanmar.

Conclusion

India needs to consider these factors before deciding its response to the situation developing in Myanmar.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

India’s Myanmar dilemma

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Countries bordering Myanmar

Mains level : Paper 2- Coup in Myanmar and India's dilemma in dealing with the situation

The coup in Myanmar poses several challenges for India. For one, it poses a dilemma in India’s dealing with Myanmar’s military. Also, it has implications for the Rohingya issue and containing the insurgency in north-east India.

Implications of the coup in Myanmar

1) Political realignment and role of Aung San Suu Kyi

  • Threat of sanctions from the United States and the West in the wake of the recent coup could lead to unique political realignments in Myanmar.
  • As a result, the international community may not have any alternatives than Aung San Suu Kyi when it comes to pursuing the restoration of democracy in the country.
  • The democratic credentials of Aung San Suu Kyi, remain deeply diminished today due to her justification of the ill-treatment meted out to the Rohingya,
  • Yet the recent events have brought her right back into the centre of the international community’s political calculations in Myanmar.

2) Implications for Rohingya issus

  • International community will have to condone the government’s past actions against the Rohingya in order to highlight Suu Kyi as an anchor of democracy in Myanmar.
  • The case against Myanmar’s conduct during her government’s tenure at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will most likely be put on the backburner.
  • Increasing global support for Ms. Suu Kyi could potentially negative consequences for the persecuted Rohingya.

3) China factor

  • In the short run, the coup stands to hurt the interests of China, India and even the rest of the international community, all of whom were able to do business with Myanmar in their own unique ways.
  • For China, the coup has complicated its larger regional economic plans in Myanmar.
  • However, the international community’s sharp reactions will likely force the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military) to turn to China.
  • International sanctions are unlikely to have a major impact on the country’s largely inward-looking junta and its Generals.
  • However, it Generals would still expect Beijing to give them
  • For China, the coup has complicated its larger regional economic plans in Myanmar.
  • On the positive side for Beijing, decisive western sanctions will force the military to get closer to China.
  • To that extent, China will be its biggest beneficiary of the February coup by default.

India’s dilemma

  • India faces the most challenging dilemma on how to respond to the military coup in Myanmar.
  • The dual power centres of the military and the civilian government that existed in Naypyitaw until recently, suited India.
  • While India’s national interests clearly lie in dealing with whoever is in power in Myanmar, India would find it difficult to openly support the junta given the strong western and American stance.
  • On the other hand, it can ill-afford to offend the junta by actively seeking a restoration of democracy there.
  • While Ms. Suu Kyi was getting cozy with Beijing, it was the Myanmar military that had been more circumspect.

India’s concerns

  • While a friendless Myanmar junta getting closer to China is a real worry for New Delhi, there are other concerns too.
  • For one, Myanmar’s military played a helpful role in helping India contain the north-eastern insurgencies.
  • Equally important is the issue of providing succour to the Rohingya in the wake of the military coup in Myanmar.

Consider the question “Developments in Myanmar have several implications for the regional geopolitics. In light of this, examine the challenges India faces from the development in Myanmar.”

Conclusion

India is left with very few clear policy options. And yet, it must continue to maintain relations with the government in power in Myanmar while discreetly pushing for political reconciliation in the country. In the meantime, the focus must be on improving trade, connectivity, and security links between the two sides.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

The way forward in Myanmar

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rohingya crisis

Mains level : Paper 2- Factors to consider while dealing with the situation in Myanmar

The article discusses the five lessons from past experiences as the international community frames its response to the military coup in Myanmar.

Coup in Myanmar

  • After Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) swept the polls by winning almost 80% of the vote, Myanmar’s military staged a coup and declared a state of Emergency for a year.
  • Myanmar, which started a fragile transition to democracy 10 years ago after decades of brutal military dictatorship, is back in the hands of the Generals.

Lessons for the international community

1) Benefits of sanctions

  • The developments in Myanmar will invariably bring back the old debate around the prudence of sanctions.
  • Notwithstanding the western sanctions before 2010 [during military rule], China, Thailand and Singapore were the key trading partners of Myanmar.
  • The present reality is no different.
  • Singapore was reportedly the largest foreign investor in Myanmar in 2020, accounting for 34% of the overall approved investment.
  • Given that the military has been able to economically withstand sanctions by striking deals with Asian countries in the past, sanctions are unlikely to bring any major political change.

2) Accountability for crime against humanity

  • As political changes got underway in 2010, many generals were on the radar of the international community for perpetuating a regime of human rights abuses, quietly vanished from the scene.
  • This bred a culture of impunity.
  • During the 2017 Rohingya crisis, senior military officials brazenly exploited social media to mobilise public support for brutality against Rohingyas.

3) China’s influence

  • Three, a critical international player in Myanmar is China.
  • The international community, particularly the West, has to factor in China’s multi-layered influence on Myanmar.

4) Revival of past international mechanisms

  • Many international mechanisms comprising Western and Asian countries that were formed to coordinate strategies on Myanmar were disbanded after the 2015 election.
  • That the changes in Myanmar were irreversible was the standard thinking.
  • Relevant actors should be brought on a common platform by reviving past mechanisms.

5) Increasing the engagement with domestic stakeholders

  • The expectation that Myanmar will see a nationwide protest against the military after the coup should be examined with the geographical extent of Bamar, Myanmar’s largest ethnic group, who support the National League for Democracy.
  • The minorities in the country form around 35% of the population.
  • In the current scenario, the military will continue to exploit ethnic and religious fault lines.
  • Engagement with domestic stakeholders, including ethnic minorities, especially from the north, should be pursued by the international community.

Consider the question “As military hinders Myanmar’s transition to democracy, what are the factors that should be considered by the international community as it form the response to the situation in the country.”

Conclusion

There is one consistent lesson, that no change is irreversible, particularly in a context where military leadership scripted the meaning of democracy, and domestic forces and geopolitics continuously fail to deter its actions and impulses to rule.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

Myanmar’s Military Coup

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not Much

Mains level : India-Myanmar relations

Myanmar’s military staged a coup detaining de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and declaring it had taken control of the country for one year under a state of emergency.

Q.Despite its military coup, Myanmar is the key in linking South Asia to Southeast Asia and the eastern periphery becomes the focal point for New Delhi’s regional outreach. Analyse.

What is the news?

  • The intervention came with rising tensions between the military, which ruled the country for nearly five decades, and the civilian government over allegations of fraud in November’s elections.
  • The military had signaled its intentions to seize power to settle its claims of irregularities in the polls, which Suu Kyi’s party won easily.

How was the coup carried out?

  • The military detained the leaders of the governing NLD party and Myanmar’s civilian leadership, including Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, along with various ministers and even the opposition.
  • The military quickly seized control of the country’s infrastructure, suspending most television broadcasts and canceling all domestic and international flights, according to reports.
  • Telephone and internet access was suspended in major cities.
  • The stock market and commercial banks were closed, and long lines were seen outside ATMs in some places.
  • In Yangon, the country’s largest city and former capital, residents ran to markets to stock up on food and other supplies.

Who is Aung San Suu Kyi?

  • Suu Kyi came to power as state councilor in 2016 after the country’s first fully democratic vote in decades.
  • Her ascension to leadership was seen as a critical moment in the transition of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, to democracy from military dictatorship.
  • Suu Kyi, the daughter of the country’s independence hero General Aung San, spent more than 15 years under house arrest.
  • Her time in detention made her an international icon, and she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
  • Since her release, her reputation has been tarnished by her cooperation with the military and her deadly campaign against the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority group.

India’s response to the takeover

  • India is “deeply concerned” with the return to military rule, which is a repeat of events thirty years ago.
  • It sees only option to engage, building on its outreach in recent years via the security and defence establishment.
  • India seeks a more pragmatic approach, engaging the military while pushing for more freedoms and democracy in Myanmar.

Various issues concerning India

  • One important reason for the change is that India’s security relationship with the Myanmar military.
  • These days, it has become extremely close, and it would be difficult to “burn bridges” with them given their assistance in securing the North East frontiers from insurgent groups.
  • Apart from strategic concerns, India has cultivated several infrastructure and development projects with Myanmar, which it sees as the “gateway to the East” and ASEAN countries.
  • These include the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the Kaladan Multi-modal transit transport network, as well as a plan for a Special Economic Zone at the Sittwe deep-water port.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

[op-ed snap] Moral ambiguity on the Rohingya

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing Much

Mains level : India should take a firm and oral stand on rohingaya crisis.

CONTEXT

India’s abstention from voting on a UN Human Rights Council draft resolution, in March this year, on the “situation of human rights in Myanmar” needs closer examination. Co-sponsored by the European Union (EU) and Bangladesh, the resolution “expresses grave concern at continuing reports of serious human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar”, particularly in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States, and calls for a full inquiry into these by the Council’s own mechanism and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

  • In its follow-up explanatory statement, India’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, Rajiv Kumar Chander, said that it would “only be counter-productive” to support “extensive recommendations regarding legislative and policy actions” and “threatening Myanmar with punitive action, including at the ICC, to which that state is not a signatory”.
  • ” India, for its part, continues to maintain ties with the Myanmar armed forces (Tatmadaw), supplying them with combat hardware and imparting UN peacekeeping training.
  • An edition of the India-Myanmar bilateral army exercise, IMBEX 2018-19, took place this January at Chandimandir.

Arms and business ties

  • According to the arms transfer database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India is one of Myanmar’s top arms suppliers, and weapons sales includes military aircraft, artillery, naval vessels and reconnaissance equipment, armoured vehicles, anti-submarine torpedoes and missiles.
  • One analysis by the Dutch advocacy group, Stop Wapenhandel (Stop Arms Trade), claims that India transferred combat equipment in violation of international embargoes.
  • India’s core logic here is to “modernise” the Tatmadaw with the intent of securing its 1,640-km plus border with Myanmar and forge a sustainable strategic partnership at China’s doorstep.
  • But, in this inflexible realpolitik approach, there is little space for end-user accountability and human rights. 

Through Dhaka’s lens

  •  India’s soft, backfoot approach is being increasingly seen by Bangladesh, which is hosting nearly a million Rohingya refugees, to be tilted in Myanmar’s favour.
  • Bangladeshi journalist Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan argues that “Indian policy regarding the Rohingya crisis has always favoured Myanmar.”

  • Alternate ways
  • Instead of just pushing one-time economic aid into Bangladesh and Myanmar, India could have forged a regional ‘compact’, much like the Jordan Compact on Syria, to ensure sustained humanitarian assistance in addressing the short- and long-term needs of the displaced Rohingya population.
  • This would have ensured uniform donor interest and better monitoring of where aid is going to. I
  • Using the geo-economic leverage that it enjoys with Myanmar, India could compel Myanmar to bring the alleged perpetrators of war crimes to book or at least get a guarantee that such conduct would not be repeated in the future.
  • Conclusion
  • For now, India is happy to be in a stable, but morally tenuous, friends-with-benefit relationship with Myanmar. The victims continue to be the stateless Rohingya.

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

India and Myanmar relations: Change in dynamics by democratic triumph

After decades of struggle, finally democracy triumphed over military junta and Myanmar parliament enters democratic era after 54 years of military rule. It’s time to glance over India-Myanmar relations and how India will be benefited from such stable democratic government.

India and Myanmar have traditionally had much in common, with cultural, historical, ethnic and religious ties, in addition to sharing a long geographical land border and maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. Let’s see it in brief!

How did India and Myanmar engagement begin ?

  • Myanmar is India’s bridge to east, and an important ally for growing its regional power.
  • India and Myanmar’s relationship officially got underway after the Treaty of Friendship was signed in 1951.
  • For many years, India did not open up to the authoritarian regime, and it was only over a period of time that India started engaging with the military junta of Myanmar.
  • The region’s focus has revolved around the SAARC countries and China, Myanmar is becoming increasingly important for India in both a strategic and economic context.

What about bilateral trade ties?

  • Bilateral trade has grown from $12.4 million in 1980-81 to $2.18 billion in 2013-14.
  • Agricultural items like beans and pulses and forest based products make up nearly 90 percent of India’s imports.
  • Myanmar is also the beneficiary of a duty-free tariff preference scheme for least developed countries (LDCs).
  • Both countries also signed a border trade agreement in 1994 and have 2 trade points along their 1,643 km border.
  • India has also promoted some trade events such as the India Product Show 2012, which represented 19 Indian companies.

But, How shared cultural links promote unique relations between both countries?

  • The two countries have shared cultural exchanges through various cultural troupes.
  • One such exchange was in 2009 when Myanmar sent a 13 member student group that attended a SAARC cultural festival in India.
  • This was followed by another major event at which the Indian embassy in Yangon organized the annual Indian Film Festival, which is a major event on the Yangon cultural calendar.

Does India have historical bond with Myanmar?

  • Yes! Yangon was once a center for India’s independence struggle.
  • The Indian National Army (INA), formed by Indian nationalists during World War II in 1942 with the motto of Ittehad, Itmad aur Qurbani (Unity, Faith and Sacrifice).
  • Comprised over 40,000 soldiers, who fought valiantly against the British imperialist forces.
  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose became leader of the INA in 1943 and undertook a groundbreaking march towards Indian territories from Burmese soil with the aim of achieving Indian independence.<This time we can expect question on Netaji and his work, as we know current happenings about Netaji’s files declassified>
  • General Aung San, Burma’s independence hero, was a close friend of Netaji, the supreme commander of the INA.
  • That friendship was reflected in cordial relationship between the soldiers of the INA and their counterparts in the Burmese National Army (BNA).
  • So, it’s good to use this historical bond for building more coherent and strong relations with Myanmar.

How Myanmar is Strategically significant to India?

  • Myanmar is strategically important to India as it is the only ASEAN country that shares a land border with India.
  • It is also the only country that can act as a link between India and ASEAN.
  • Myanmar is India’s gateway to Southeast Asia and could be the required impetus to realize India’s Look East Policy.
  • India has also decided to upgrade the Kalewa-Yargyi road segment to highway standard.
  • Myanmar would develop the Yargyi-Monywa portion, and this would help to connect Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar.
  • This in turn would improve India’s connectivity and relationship with both Myanmar and Thailand.

How can India become regional pivot in Asia?

  • If India is to become an assertive regional player in Asia, it has to work toward developing policies that would improve and strengthen it domestically.
  • This will encourage more confidence in its ability to lead the region and be an important global player.
  • Competition with China should also be considered and taken seriously. As China’s growing influence in the region would lead to a more one-sided dynamic in the region.
  • China has asserted itself through its soft power as well as through its trade and economic relations with Myanmar by taking up large infrastructure projects in the country.
  • India on the other hand needs to use its soft power more effectively, and at the same time strengthen itself domestically and regionally.

What are advantages that India has over China with regard to Myanmar?

  • One is the democratic process, which results in different governments at the center and states through free and fair elections.
  • There is also the respect for institutions that are strong enough to hold the country together.
  • Finally, cooperation in different multilateral forums such as ASEAN and BIMSTEC strengthen the relationship between the 2 countries.
  • Apart from these reasons, India has sent a clear signal that while economic ties are important, it is keen to build a holistic relationship and is prepared to assist in institution building in Myanmar.

What is the significance of Connectivity in India-Myanmar Relations? 

<How North-Eastern region can play vital role in this?>

  • Myanmar’s vast oil and natural gas reserves and other resources make it a natural partner for many countries in the world.
  • India, being its next door neighbour, cannot be indifferent to this reality.
  • Besides, geo-political considerations, historical and civilizational links, and the ethnic overlap across their borders, have all come together to make India’s North-East the land bridge between the South and South-East Asia through Myanmar.
  • The 1,640 km-long border between Myanmar and the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram signifies the importance of this eastern neighbour for India.
  • India expects to reap various economic benefits by bolstering bilateral trade and investment, which critically depends upon better connectivity in the region.

How bilateral cooperation agreement gives impetus to India’s Look-East Policy?

  • The strategic location of Myanmar is pivotal to India in reaching out to the economically vibrant South-East Asian countries.
  • India’s Look-East Policy envisages building infrastructure and expanding the transportation network including railroads, aimed at furthering surface connectivity in the region.
  • It is recognized that in addition to more economic contacts, such connectivity will promote social stability in the region by facilitating people-to-people contact amongst trans-border ethnic groups.
  • It is expected that insurgent outfits would lose their recruitment base once the local resources begin to be exploited and employment is generated leading to overall development. 
  • Concrete economic benefits are expected to come up in the region with establishment of border haats.
  • In addition, internal trade routes have the potential to enhance accessibility to sub-regional markets that connect Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan.

Way forward

  • The basic foundation for the relationship between India and Myanmar has been laid by previous governments, the onus is on the present Indian administration to demonstrate that it can take the relationship to a higher level.
  • India can become a strong regional player through a more proactive approach, cement India’s place in the region and grow into a powerful, global country.

 

 

Published with inputs from Arun

By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

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