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Why is India not pursuing ASEAN membership?

India with a long-term interest in getting a UNSC permanent seat and NSG membership, has been pressing strongly and overtly for its candidature. But the same zeal is not seen in seeking ASEAN membership. Though the Act East policy is ephasised in diplomacy and public overtures, there has never been a direct push to seek membership of ASEAN. Won't a direct push for ASEAN be more beneficial and more achievable than spending diplomatic efforts for UNSC permanent seat?
तदबीर से बिगड़ी हुई तक़दीर बना ले, अपने पे भरोसा है तो एक दाँव लगा ले।
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Comments

  • edited August 2016

    India with a long-term interest in getting a UNSC permanent seat and NSG membership, has been pressing strongly and overtly for its candidature. But the same zeal is not seen in seeking ASEAN membership. Though the Act East policy is ephasised in diplomacy and public overtures, there has never been a direct push to seek membership of ASEAN. Won't a direct push for ASEAN be more beneficial and more achievable than spending diplomatic efforts for UNSC permanent seat?

    No need for India to join ASEAN
    1. India is focussing on regionalism rather than multilateralism and since india is not a part of asia pacific so no urgency to join it.
    2. Agreement has to be bound by ASEAN Charter and it does not matches with India trade policy
    3. India sees that RCEP and TPP can lead to trade diversion and since ASEAN is part of this india is reluctant to show some interest in it.
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  • India has to do its on cost-benefit-analysis.Foreign Policy decisions are not driven by short term benefits but by long term sustenance of National interest.
    India should join because-
    1.China,Saarc ko karara jawab milega.
    2.Investment avenues for Indian companies.
    3.Long standing cultural,ethnic connect-reconciles.

    But comeon India cant do dat-
    1.Every strategy of India should'nt be to become Pivot in Asia-aur v gum hain.
    2.Assean are mainly cheap electronics manufacturing ,industry driven econonmy,any close conglomerations wid Dem goes against ideals of Make in India,electronic policies.
    3.ASEAN and India compete at level of BPO.
    4.ASEAN-geographical-economical groupings India a misfit.
    5.India cant change its geography-Saarc membrs will get More reasons for dostana wid China,always annoying for India.
    6.Issues related to Ipr regime,Narcoterrorism,infilteration,ant-India naratives are yet to be resolved wid sme ASSEAN Membrs.
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  • edited September 2016
    Strategically speaking, joining ASEAN could give India leverage in south china sea, asia-pacific, and provide for overall better engagement in world affairs, politically and economically, especially vis-a-vis China, which is trying to expand its influence on India's western flanks. If India is to be a leading power in the world, this is the way, otherwise it will only be a balancing power boxed in it's own political frontiers.

    But more visibly ASEAN membership could herald the biggest yet economic reform for India.
    तदबीर से बिगड़ी हुई तक़दीर बना ले, अपने पे भरोसा है तो एक दाँव लगा ले।
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  • edited September 2016
    @all...with due respect...don't write ans like it is a tea shop chit chat...and only wat u read from the hindu.IR Qs should be dealt with proper thinking..the more u thnk the more refined ur ans will be and u can score well in tat 4-5 Qs which come in paper2 and it will help u score well in tat paper..coz the above pts u wrote can be written by nybody..and ther r some flaws also..m not lecturing anybody ..tats why m not commenting on anybody's ans..just speaking from my experience...RCEP a trade diversion---comeon man...think properly...leverage in s.china sea.. then why china is not a member?? why thailand or brunei can't be aspiring for SAARC..if buisness is evrything then every country will join evry grouping...i hv lot of things to write here but can't.....just a suggestion...upto u whether u like it or not..thanku..

    Mod Note: Please write in proper English. Specially when this is an answer writing thread and not tea shop "chit chat".
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  • @sam13 if u have much to write, then please write. everyone wants to learn and improve.
    तदबीर से बिगड़ी हुई तक़दीर बना ले, अपने पे भरोसा है तो एक दाँव लगा ले।
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  • @sam13 if u have much to write, then please write. everyone wants to learn and improve.

    sorry bro ..if i hurt u with my above comment..
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  • I'd like to know if India is eligible for the membership, considering the fact that it's a South Asian country. Thanks
    Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn.
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  • edited September 2016
    Gameplay said:

    I'd like to know if India is eligible for the membership, considering the fact that it's a South Asian country. Thanks

    geographical contiguity is one factor, inimical to gettig ASEAN membership. It is one of the clauses, so to convince ASEAN to extend westward is no cakewalk. But projecting Andaman-Nikobar and northeast as connecting zones rather than dividing line between south Asia and South-East Asia is not unthinkable. Like the way Afghanistan has been made a SAARC member or there used to be a talk of including China in SAARC.
    तदबीर से बिगड़ी हुई तक़दीर बना ले, अपने पे भरोसा है तो एक दाँव लगा ले।
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  • In today's world driven by economic power and interest rather than military power, being out of the asean grouping has certainly prevented India from gaining added markets and strategic gain vis a vis China, which is dominant in that region.

    Advantages of joining asean
    1) increased trade opportunities for investors firm India
    2) Greater flow of fdi and fit from concerned countries
    3) opportunity to assert even more soft power and increase goodwill among the countries through cultural and people to people contacts
    4) opportunities to counter Chinese assertions in region and safeguard interests in South China sea
    5) Energy and food security.
    6) In sync with the look east policy of govt
    7) Greater connectivity with asean countries will open the doors for greater assimilation neglected and isolated north eastern region, both domestically and internationally.
    8) In sync with pivot yo Asia policy of USA which has been supported by India and other partners in indo Pacific region

    Cons or constraints of joining asean
    1) More competition to Indian industries from cheap goods from the region
    2) Chances of confrontation with the Chinese who are dominant in the region due to historical and ethnic factors
    3) The countries of the region have agreed to join the TPP which is against Indias interests and intentions
    4) The possibility of India being dragged in the confrontations in South China sea dispute which may affect India China trade relations.
    5) The possibility of SAARC nations such as Pakistan demanding Chinese entry in SAARC as a counter to Indias actions of joining asean.

    But if India wants to assert it's claims to unsc and expand its dominance both geographically and economically on a wider scale, the possibilities of joining the asean bloc need to revisited and pursued aggressively as is being done by China in the persian gulf through cpec and USA through pivot to Asia.
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  • edited September 2016
    Few points not mentioned yet -

    Why is India not pursuing ASEAN membership actively ?

    1. Because ASEAN seat has no tangible benefits to offer to India. India already has MoUs and Trade agreements with Thailand , Vietnam and Singapore. Malaysia have a concentrated population of Buddhist , Hindus and indentured Indian Diaspora means India-Malayasia ties are pretty much human-centric rather than being Trade centric and hence not much scope to pull or push trade there.

    2. ASEAN means South China Sea. SAARC and BISMTEC means Indian Ocean. If India can occupy a dominant and leadership position in India ocean , diplomatically and strategically then it can assert itself easily in other regions.

    3. Indian Ocean has enough trade routes and mineral prospects that it can satisfy India's energy and mineral needs as of now.

    4. China is making headways in South Asia via nepal , pakistan and sri lanka. India is similarly heading into South East Asia via Vietnam and Thailand. eg - credit line to vietnam.
    As China is not seeking membership in SAARC or BISMTEC , India is not seeking ASEAN membership. If India does , China can use it as a bargaining chip to actively demand SAARC seat from India.

    5. Unlike other associations , ASEAN is a very tightly coupled set-up since its formation. The "Asean way" has ensured that it deals with all the players in fair and reasonable way and hence there is no added incentive for India to become a "favored " nation among ASEAN nations.

    6. After the East Asian crisis of 1990s , the money market of ASEAN nations has undergone a keynesian transformation and has simultaneously become more prudent limiting the FDI -FII prospects for India.


    While getting ASEAN membership will certainly be beneficial for India , seeking it actively , at this point of time , is certainly not India's priority.
    यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः
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  • edited September 2016

    India with a long-term interest in getting a UNSC permanent seat and NSG membership, has been pressing strongly and overtly for its candidature. But the same zeal is not seen in seeking ASEAN membership. Though the Act East policy is ephasised in diplomacy and public overtures, there has never been a direct push to seek membership of ASEAN. Won't a direct push for ASEAN be more beneficial and more achievable than spending diplomatic efforts for UNSC permanent seat?

    This is not from mains perspective, so please grant a little latitude.

    Syria and Crimea have been bombed despite and Libya because of UNSC. UNSC (and more generally UN) has become an obsolete organization and hence is being replaced by regional multilateral alternatives and military blocks. India seeks UNSC membership only for prestige. To sit at the same table as the big boys. There is no overbearing functional advantage of being a permanent member of a toothless body (unless there are also plans to reform the body itself and give it a spine)

    India needs nuclear technology and fuel for its grand clean energy vision. NSG is an obstacle in that. Until recently Australia was and Japan even now is reluctant to transfer nuclear technology to India. This limits the capability of supply of critical technology even by American and French nuclear suppliers (who are more willing). This has ramifications in the domain of energy security as well as from a strategic dimension.

    ASEAN is a regional group with primary focus on the economic front. India is not in that geographic region so it makes no sense to be a member. This is the same reason why India is not pursuing membership in NAFTA.
    As for economic and trade issues, these are covered to a certain extent in the currently operational India-ASEAN FTA in goods and the soon to be operational services FTA. An all encompassing RCEP in the offing will take care of other issues and position India in global supply chain which is what India wants at the moment especially after fear of trade diversion due to TPP.
    On other fronts India interfaces with ASEAN as a whole and its constituent nations through forums like East Asia Summit (ASEAN+ framework), Mekong Ganga, BIMSTEC etc. So a full membership is not needed. And neither is it being asked. Nor being granted.

    Btw I am a little behind on my current affair by a couple of months. Is this in news? Or are we all Abdullahs and this is a 'begani shaadi'?

    A Lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep.
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  • edited September 2016

    India with a long-term interest in getting a UNSC permanent seat and NSG membership, has been pressing strongly and overtly for its candidature. But the same zeal is not seen in seeking ASEAN membership. Though the Act East policy is ephasised in diplomacy and public overtures, there has never been a direct push to seek membership of ASEAN. Won't a direct push for ASEAN be more beneficial and more achievable than spending diplomatic efforts for UNSC permanent seat?


    ASEAN is a regional group with primary focus on the economic front. India is not in that geographic region so it makes no sense to be a member. This is the same reason why India is not pursuing membership in NAFTA.
    As for economic and trade issues, these are covered to a certain extent in the currently operational India-ASEAN FTA in goods and the soon to be operational services FTA. An all encompassing RCEP in the offing will take care of other issues and position India in global supply chain which is what India wants at the moment especially after fear of trade diversion due to TPP.
    Btw I am a little behind on my current affair by a couple of months. Is this in news? Or are we all Abdullahs and this is a 'begani shaadi'?

    If i may add,
    Acc to economic survey, India has not benifited much from India-ASEAN FTA. Though the bilateral trade has increased, the imports from ASEAN countries is much higher as compared to exports from India causing a trade deficit. ASEAN is a close knit group with negligible trade barriers among member nations. Most of its nations are also members of the mega regional arrangements like RCEP and TPP. India would find it difficult to pursue such trade arrangements due to its protectionist tendencies. Our textile industry is in bad shape and countries like Vietnam, Thailand are fast emerging as manufacturing hubs for IT products like chips, processors etc. Groupings like ASEAN wont tolerate the obstructionism which India follows typically in WTO.
    India should rather focus on improving the health of its manufacturing sector and learn from its experiences after joining RCEP. Also the trade diversion due to TPP should be observed and hand holding should be provided by Govt to the affected industries to cope up with the loss in markets.
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  • India with a long-term interest in getting a UNSC permanent seat and NSG membership, has been pressing strongly and overtly for its candidature. But the same zeal is not seen in seeking ASEAN membership. Though the Act East policy is ephasised in diplomacy and public overtures, there has never been a direct push to seek membership of ASEAN. Won't a direct push for ASEAN be more beneficial and more achievable than spending diplomatic efforts for UNSC permanent seat?

    This is not from mains perspective, so please grant a little latitude.

    Syria and Crimea have been bombed despite and Libya because of UNSC. UNSC (and more generally UN) has become an obsolete organization and hence is being replaced by regional multilateral alternatives and military blocks. India seeks UNSC membership only for prestige. To sit at the same table as the big boys. There is no overbearing functional advantage of being a permanent member of a toothless body (unless there are also plans to reform the body itself and give it a spine)

    India needs nuclear technology and fuel for its grand clean energy vision. NSG is an obstacle in that. Until recently Australia was and Japan even now is reluctant to transfer nuclear technology to India. This limits the capability of supply of critical technology even by American and French nuclear suppliers (who are more willing). This has ramifications in the domain of energy security as well as from a strategic dimension.

    ASEAN is a regional group with primary focus on the economic front. India is not in that geographic region so it makes no sense to be a member. This is the same reason why India is not pursuing membership in NAFTA.
    As for economic and trade issues, these are covered to a certain extent in the currently operational India-ASEAN FTA in goods and the soon to be operational services FTA. An all encompassing RCEP in the offing will take care of other issues and position India in global supply chain which is what India wants at the moment especially after fear of trade diversion due to TPP.
    On other fronts India interfaces with ASEAN as a whole and its constituent nations through forums like East Asia Summit (ASEAN+ framework), Mekong Ganga, BIMSTEC etc. So a full membership is not needed. And neither is it being asked. Nor being granted.

    Btw I am a little behind on my current affair by a couple of months. Is this in news? Or are we all Abdullahs and this is a 'begani shaadi'?

    Unsc seat would be still a powerful position esp with veto , which means china can be competed against from the sa,e position.
    India has for long tried to pursuade the world by power of argument. Now it is trying to persuade via argument of power.
    यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः
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  • @Jaime_Lannister yesterday C. Raja Mohan wrote in Indian Express on the fourth phase of India's engagement with Asia, particularly the ASEAN, and providing a 'balance' to it and a reference of how Nehru first strated off with an idea of leading Asia. So I thought of getting some thoughts on it. But I had started the thread, when I was reading about ASEAN and this idea just struck, so originally it was though not a begaani shaadi, but you can say mohalle kee shaadi

    I think engaging through RCEP or EAS, though keeps India's engagement at par with how other nations are trying to engage with ASEAN, it won't provide a push for India to lead Asia, or providing any balance that ASEAN or its members may feel to require, and India playing a second fiddle with no real stakes. Yes ASEAN is mainly economic in perspective, with India as a member political directions may open up, especially when Individual members countries like Vietnam and Phillipines could already be feeling a need, and ASEAN being unable to provide for them. Engaging exteranlly doesn't seem to provide any differentiating lead to India vis-a-vis others. BIMSTEC, MGC, and bilateral dealings will help improve much needed engagement. But what is to be the long-term projection of Act / look East, if not to lead East?

    तदबीर से बिगड़ी हुई तक़दीर बना ले, अपने पे भरोसा है तो एक दाँव लगा ले।
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  • Thanks RP for the reference. I haven't read a newspaper in months.

    Wrt UNSC, Hercule, I think there is very low possibility of India's entry because of various reasons (which you may already know). And so there is a compromise plan afoot for a veto-less 15 or so years temporary membership to new entrants which, maybe, on future review will get us veto. but won't most likely.

    Further, I still stand behind my original point that veto did nothing to stop the mayhem in Syria, Crimea, Libya, Kosovo, Balkans, Korea etc (all these were different cases some with veto others without)

    And I am digressing. This thread is about India ASEAN membership.
    A Lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of the sheep.
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