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India's look east policy: an Asianist strategy in perspective

Title:India's look east policy: an Asianist strategy in perspective
Author:Jaffrelot Christophe
Publication:India Review / Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Enumeration:Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 35 - 68/ April 2003
Abstract:Indian nationalist leaders developed a strong interest in Asia right from the early nineteenth century. Jawarharlal Nehru articulated an Asianist ideology based on the cultural affinities between India and China and the geopolitical interest in Greater India. This approach, which culminated in the Bandung summit, was put into parenthesis after the 1962 war. The Cold War, during which India and South East Asia were in different camps, prompted differing paths towards in emulating the economic progress of Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, and different approaches towards the development of the ASEAN. India's Asianist policy met an uneven fate but, by and large, there has been a significant rapprochement between India and East Asia. This move materialized in the investments of several Asian countries - including South Korea - in India and the entry of India in the ARF. Yet the symbiosis between India and Southeast Asia remains hindered by the rather nationalistic view of the latter region that the Hindutva movement is still propagating: like in the colonial period, Asianism remains part of an instrumentalist strategy.

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