China’s actions since the South China Sea arbitration ruling show that India needs to take a stronger line if it wants to achieve its objectives. Given the importance of the principles at stake, it would be in India’s best interests to take a more forward-looking and forward-leaning approach to the South China Sea dispute.
The annual summit between Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, held on November 11 in Tokyo, once again underscored the importance of maritime security in the bilateral relationship. Describing the relationship as “unique” and “special,” the two leaders talked of a greater convergence in their visions for Asia. While there have been developments in almost all areas of the relationship, maritime security under Modi and Abe has become one of the most visible areas of cooperation in the strategic partnership. By addressing strategic concerns beyond the realm of security cooperation, the leaders have found a unique and constructive way to collaborate in the Indian Ocean and beyond.