India-Thailand Security and Economic Co-operation and its Impacts on Regionalization

Wolf, Siegfried O.

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Abstract

Historically, relations between India and Thailand have always been dominated by economic co-operation and cultural exchange. However, since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in May 2014 and the subsequent announcement of his ‘Act East policy’, not only is there intensifying co-operation of India with Thailand in general, but also a broadening of areas of collaboration. Most remarkable in this context is the new, strong focus of security-related issues as well as efforts to boost economic interaction. This article argues that India’s increased interest in Thailand is a result of new international parameters, foremost of which is China’s enhanced engagement in the Indian Ocean as well as the South China Sea. As such, it is stated that India-Thai relations must be understood in the wider context of New Delhi’s attempt to define its new role in the larger Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, India’s recent deteriorating relations with Pakistan and the consequent negative impacts regarding regional connectivity towards ‘the West’ urges the country even more to reassess its foreign policy towards the South-East Asian region, among which Thailand is identified as a natural gateway. On the other side, Thailand increasingly appears to be identifying India as a priority access to the West. Against this backdrop, the intensification of India-Thailand relations could serve as a catalyst for more regional co-operation between South Asia and South-East Asia.

Document type: Book
Publisher: SADF - South Asia Democratic Forum
Place of Publication: Brussels
Date: 2018
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 10 March 2021
Number of Pages: 21
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Political science
Economics
Controlled Subjects: Wirtschaftskooperation, Regionalismus, Südostasien, Südasien
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indien, Thailand, Südasien, Südostasien, China, ASEAN, regionale Sicherheit, Verteidigungskooperation, regionale Kooperation, wirtschaftliche Kooperation / India, Thailand, South Asia, South-East Asia, China, ASEAN, regional security, defence co-operation, regional co-operation, economic cooperation
Subject (classification): Politics
Countries/Regions: China
India
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Thailand
Series: Themen > SADF Working Papers
Volume: 9