Posts Tagged ‘India’

India’s opportunistic diplomacy

January 26, 2009

Today was Republic Day in India, complete with a Soviet-style military parade. Besides the lists of all the gleaming new hardware on display was the quite interesting fact that the guest of honour was President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan (yes, there’s an immense potential for Borat jokes on this one).  Basically it comes down to uranium – the Kazakhstanis have lots of it and the Indians will need it.

It’s a nice reflection of quite how opportunistic and multi-faceted India’s diplomacy has become. There’s been much talk about the US and India, but at the same time the Indians are buying lots of weapons from Russia and supporting the regime in Myanmar, and much else besides. Indeed, their purchases from Russia are becoming very substantial – an aircraft carrier and nuclear submarine among them. It will be interesting – I’m going to try tack down the data – to compare Indian and Chinese purchases from the Russians.

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Indian naval academy opens

January 17, 2009

India has just opened potentially the largest Naval institute in Asia, down in Kerala. Given that this academy was proposed way back in 1982, it can’t – but probably will – be taken as one of those signs of great power rivalry. Of course, the fact that it got started in 1982 is quite a good illustration of India’s handicaps (note contrast to China and the carrier).

What’s most interesting is that Japan and Korea are considered ‘friendly naval powers’, who might send their cadets to the academy. Seeing cadets from those three nations learning together would be quite a picture of globalization, and shows that, at least to an extent, they are seeing each other as natural partners.