Due to the strategic location of Sri Lanka, many major powers have raced to claim their own interests in the nation. Currently, China is making use of Sri Lanka as a part of its BRI and string of pearls strategy. India too sees the significance of bilateral ties with the island nation. India and Sri Lanka’s bilateral ties are thousands of years of old, characterised by common culture, tradition and history. India, to counter China and create a balance of power in the region, must ensure close diplomatic ties with smaller neighbours like Sri Lanka.
Recently, the new government in the Maldives expressed its indebtedness towards China due to the latter’s construction activities in the Maldives. However, Maldives also has fears over the unsustainable Chinese debts. Notably, the new president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, wants to restore ties with India. Hence the situation in Male (Maldives’ capital) provides both opportunities and risks to India.
This big-picture article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for quick revision.
- About the Maldives
- What is the political background of Maldives?
- What is the importance of the Maldives for India?
- What are the areas of cooperation?
- What are the areas of contention?
- The President of Maldives’s visit to India in December 2018.
Since time immemorial, both India and Africa had maintained close ties with each other, both economically and politically. India and the African nations have suffered the common colonial past and are currently striving to become developed nations.
Africa holds enormous potential, for it is rich with natural resources that are both economically and strategically important. The current government has valued the India-Africa ties and is undertaking all measure to improve the historical connections with Africa.
India’s two top dignitaries, President Ram Nath Kovid and Defence Minister Rajnath Sigh have undertaken important visits Africa between July and August this Year. President Ram Nath Kovind had visited Benin, Gambia, and Guinea-Conakry, while the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Mozambique. These visits showcase India’s increasing focus in Africa.
The bilateral ties between Bhutan and India have always been close and both nations share a ‘special friendship’ and have been through the test of times. India, to date remains influential over Bhutan’s foreign policy, defence, and Commerce. However, India must not exploit this position for its selfish interests and must ensure that there are mutual benefits for both sides.
The unprecedented pandemic has united SAARC countries as they have come together to promote regional cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. India’s call for collaboration among SAARC countries has revived the grouping after three years of impasse. This is a much-needed initiative as the porous borders and dense population of South Asia makes it one of the most vulnerable regions in the world during a pandemic.