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Indian Foreign Policy and Foreign Relations

Indian Foreign Policy

Indian foreign policy has traditionally viewed neighbourhood as a series of expanding concentric circles centred on a central axis of shared historical and cultural experiences. Up to 44 million people of Indian descent reside and work overseas, serving as a vital link to their homeland. India’s foreign policy has made ensuring their welfare and wellbeing within the parameters of the local legal system a priority.

Indian Foreign Policy: Foreign Diplomatic Relations

India maintains diplomatic ties with 201 nations and dependencies worldwide, operates 199 missions and posts abroad, and aims to establish new missions in 2020–21, which will be hosted by 11 UN Member States.

The government organisation in charge of managing India’s overseas relations is the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), also referred to as the Foreign Ministry.

India is a significant regional power, a nuclear power, an emerging global power, and a prospective superpower. It has the second-largest armed force, third-largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, and the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP rates. India takes an increasing international influence and a prominent voice in global affairs.

Indian Foreign Policy Post British Colonist Rule

India, a former British colony, is a current member of the Commonwealth of Nations and keeps in touch with the other Commonwealth nations. Yet, after winning independence from the UK in 1947, India has developed a vast network of international ties and is currently categorised as a freshly industrialised nation. India is a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement and a member state of BRICS, a group of growing major economies that also includes Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa.

  • In order to establish more wide economic and geopolitical ties with other East Asian nations, India has recently pursued a more comprehensive foreign strategy that includes both the neighbourhood first policy exemplified by SAARC and the Look East policy.
  • In addition, India was a founding member of a number of international organisations, including the G-20 and the Asian Development Bank, which are usually regarded as the key economic hubs for developing and emerging countries, respectively.
  • Other international organizations like the East Asia Summit, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund (IMF), G7, and IBSA Dialogue Forum have also seen significant and significant influence from India.
  • India also participates in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
  • India is a member of BIMSTEC and SAARC on a regional level.
  • India is the fifth-largest troop provider as of June 2020 and has participated in numerous UN peacekeeping deployments.
  • Together with the other G4 countries, India is now vying for a permanent membership on the UN Security Council.

India is a rising superpower with a significant impact on international affairs.

Indian Foreign Policy: History of India’s Foreign Relations

Since the British Raj (1857–1947), when the British Empire assumed control of handling external and defence affairs, India’s relations with the rest of the globe have changed. Few Indians had any experience formulating or carrying out foreign policy when their country got independence in 1947. To cultivate contacts abroad and publicise its independence cause, the Indian National Congress, the nation’s oldest political organisation, set up a small international section in 1925.

The Congress’ position on international matters was developed by Jawaharlal Nehru, who among independence leaders had a long-standing interest in global politics, starting in the late 1920s. Nehru outlined India’s stance on the rest of the world while serving as Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs starting in 1947.

Indian Foreign Policy: India’s Global Influence

  • India’s global standing changed over the years following independence. In the 1950s, India enjoyed a high level of moral authority and prestige, which made it easier to secure development aid from both the East and the West.
  • Despite the prestige that came with India’s nonalignment, the country was powerless to stop the intertwining of South Asian interstate politics and Cold War politics.
  • India lost credibility on the hotly contested Kashmir issue with Pakistan by rejecting requests from the UN for a vote in the disputed region.

Indian Foreign Policy with China

  • Sino-Indian relations have gradually improved since 1988, despite persistent misgivings stemming from the 1962 Sino-Indian War, the 1967 Nathu La and Cho La incidents, and ongoing boundary disputes over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Both nations have worked to ease border tensions, expand commerce and cultural links, and normalise relations.
  • Relations between the two countries have improved as a result of several high-level visits. During a trip to South Asia in December 1996, PRC President Jiang Zemin stopped in India.
  • While in New Delhi, he inked a number of confidence-inspiring agreements for the contentious borders with the Indian Prime Minister.
  • In May 1998, the Indian Defense Minister used prospective threats from the PRC to defend his country’s nuclear testing, which temporarily damaged Sino-Indian relations.
  • But when the Kargil crisis erupted in June 1999, then-External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh went to Beijing and declared that India did not see China as a danger.
  • Relations between India and the PRC were improving by 2001, and both nations handled the 17th Karmapa’s relocation from Tibet to India in January 2000 with discretion and delicacy.
  • Tibet was officially recognised as a part of China by India in 2003, while Sikkim was officially recognised as a part of India by China in 2004.

Indian Foreign Policy with the UK

  • India and the UK each have a high commission in London as well as general consulates in Birmingham and Edinburgh.
  • A high commission for the UK is located in New Delhi, and there are five deputy high commissioners for the country in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.
  • India and the United Kingdom have maintained diplomatic ties on a bilateral and Commonwealth of Nations levels since 1947.
  • India and the UK continue to have numerous strong ties despite the closure of the Sterling Area and the Commonwealth becoming a much more informal platform.
  • This is partly because there are so many people of Indian descent residing in the UK.
  • Since there are many South Asians living in the UK, there is constant travel and connection between the two nations.
  • Both cultures were able to learn a great deal from one another because to the British Raj.
  • The two most obvious British exports are probably the English language and cricket, however Indian food is also highly well-liked in the UK.
  • Indian cuisine is frequently cited as the country’s favourite dish, yet no official survey confirms this.

Indian Foreign Policy with QUAD Members

Indian Foreign Policy with USA

  • Although being allies of Britain, the United States under President Roosevelt strongly supported the Indian independence cause before and throughout the Second World War.
  • Following Indian independence, relations between India and the United States were tepid due to India’s leadership in the Non-Aligned Movement and assistance from the Soviet Union.
  • In 1962, the US supported India in its conflict with China.
  • The USA tended to have stronger relations with Pakistan for the majority of the Cold War, mostly as a means of containing India, which was supportive of the Soviet Union, and to utilise Pakistan to support the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
  • A 1971 Indo-Soviet Pact of Friendship and Cooperation also placed India in opposition to the United States.

Indian Foreign Policy with Japan

  • Relations between India and Japan have traditionally been good. Buddhism from India has influenced Japanese culture.
  • The Imperial Japanese Army supported Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army during World War II.
  • Since India’s independence, relations have remained cordial despite Japan slapping sanctions on India following the 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests (the sanctions were removed in 2001).
  • With the expansion of the Indian economy, India has become a significant market for Japanese businesses.
  • Sony, Toyota, and Honda are just a few Japanese companies have production operations there.
  • The most well-known Japanese firm to make a significant investment in India is the automobile behemoth Suzuki, which is partnered with Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest automaker.
  • Honda also participated in “Hero Honda,” one of the biggest motorbike manufacturers and distributors in the world.

Indian Foreign Policy with Australia

  • Australia and India are both Commonwealth nations.
  • Sports and cultural connections are important. Australian cricketers frequently engage in significant business initiatives in India, which have been facilitated by the IPL and, to a lesser extent, the ICL.
  • There is a sizable demand for Bollywood productions in Australia. In an effort to boost tourism from India to Australia, Prime Minister John Howard visited Mumbai and its entertainment sector in 2007.
  • In the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, persistent strategic attempts have been made to create a “Asian NATO” consisting of Australia, Japan, India, the US, and Japan.
  • A number of policy differences, including as India’s rejection to sign the NPT and Australia’s subsequent unwillingness to supply India with uranium, prevented the two countries’ strategic cooperation from growing throughout the first ten years of the twenty-first century.
  • Following political upheavals, Australia’s parliament approved the sale of uranium to India.
  • Throughout the second part of the 2010s, closer strategic collaboration between India, Japan, the United States, and Australia also started, which some experts linked to a desire to counteract Chinese activities in the Indo-Pacific region.

Indian Foreign Policy with South Korea

  • The two nations’ friendly ties date back to 48 AD, when Queen Suro, or Princess Heo, journeyed to Korea from the kingdom of Ayodhya.
  • The princess reportedly had a dream about a heavenly monarch who was waiting for heaven’s anointed ride, according to the Samguk Yusa.
  • Princess Heo requested her parents, the king and queen, for permission to go in search of the man after having the dream, and they strongly encouraged her to do so since they believed that god had prearranged everything.
  • After receiving permission, she sailed away in a boat with riches, silver, a tea plant, and a stone that calmed the seas.

Indian Foreign Policy with Pakistan

  • Kashmir is a contested territory with India, according to Pakistan, which also claims its portion of the disputed territory under the name “Azad Kashmir.”
  • The battle over Kashmir has not been settled.
  • About the Rann of Kachchh region at the southern tip of Sindh, there is a dispute over Sir Creek and the maritime boundary.
  • Problems with Pakistan’s Indus River water sharing (Wular Barrage).

Indian Foreign Policy with Afghanistan

  • India and Afghanistan have historically had solid and cordial bilateral ties.
  • Although being the only nation in South Asia to recognise the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s, India’s relations with that nation soured under the Taliban’s islamist administration in the 1990s and the Afghan civil wars.
  • India became the biggest regional donor of humanitarian relief and rehabilitation funds after supporting the Taliban’s fall.
  • In light of ongoing tensions and issues with Pakistan, which is still providing sanctuary and support for the Taliban, the newly democratically elected Afghan government expanded its ties with India.

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What are the five principles of Indian foreign policy known as?

The Five Principles of Mutual Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity, Mutual Non-Aggression, Mutual Non-Interference in Each Other's Internal Affairs, Equal Treatment and Mutual Benefit, and Peaceful Coexistence, jointly initiated by India and China, were highlighted by the two sides.

What is India first foreign policy?

These five guiding principles were first stated by Nehru in 1954 and served as the foundation for India's foreign policy. sensitivity to others' territorial and total sovereignty. nonaggression.

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