INCREASED MARITIME COOPERATION: INDIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA
Allison, Ashley E.
Malley, Michael S.
Chatterjee, Anshu N.
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India’s primary method for security cooperation in Southeast Asia is through maritime engagement, predominantly through naval exercises, port visits, and capacity development with partner navies. This thesis examined why and how this maritime cooperation has increased since the implementation of the Act East Policy. The research used two approaches to identify and understand India’s maritime engagement. First, a quantitative approach measured naval exercises and port visits from 2013 to 2018 and found that India has increased its maritime cooperation with Myanmar and Indonesia, which implies India’s interests in border security. It also revealed India’s lack of engagement with South China Sea claimant states, which suggests risk aversion to China. Second, the researcher used a framework to measure the scope and depth of maritime cooperation between India and Southeast Asian countries to explore India’s maritime engagement from 2015 to the end of 2018. Findings reveal an increase in both maritime security and capacity development initiatives between India and Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Vietnam. Both frameworks illustrate India’s increased maritime engagement in Southeast Asia, and show that the reasons for the increased cooperation are the desire of Southeast Asian countries for capacity development and India’s economic motivations since 2015.
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