Defence

The summer of diplomacy has begun for India?

By WION

In medieval India, the royal courts buzzed with foreign dignitaries. Back then, India was a trading hub. A military power with huge standing armies. So, Indian friendship was a strategic goal. Today, centuries later, we are witnessing a revival. A global realignment is underway and India finds itself at the centre of it.

New Delhi is preparing for a busy summer, a summer of diplomacy. It started with a Quad summit in March. It was the first head of state-level meeting. For India, it was a new chapter. Remember, New Delhi is a non-aligned country. It has stayed away from political alliances. The Quad is the closest India has come to joining one. So, has India abandoned its commitment to neutrality?

Far from it, the Quad is an exercise in deterrence. It does not seek power in the Indo-Pacific. It just wants China to follow the rules as the only Quad member that shares a border with China, the stakes are higher for India but so are the opportunities.

The West sees India as a bulwark against China’s rise and for a change, they are right. In the next few years, New Delhi could become one of the most powerful capitals in the world. Today, India hosted top officials from the US and Russia.

Not many countries in the world can do that but New Delhi is neutral turf. It has excellent ties with Moscow and Washington. Lavrov has left, Kerry will leave in a few days but India’s summer of diplomacy isn’t quite over.

Later this month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be paying a visit. He will arrive as Britain’s first post-Brexit prime minister.

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