Growing Ties b/w India and Philippines

Context:

•  Philippines has finalised a US $ 375 Million Brahmos Missile deal this engagement in the defence industry sector is an important milestone in the evolving bilateral relationship.

Background:

•  Beijing’s aggression through maritime incursions into ASEAN nations’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) including that of the Philippines has disturbed the region.
•  This coercive relationship is also shared by New Delhi, which has also been at odds with China over territorial disputes and violent clashes in the Himalayas

Other Potential Sectors:

1.  blue economy,
2.  renewable energy,
3.  cybersecurity and space
4.  increase people-to-people contact and student exchange

Need for Comprehensive Strategic Partnership:

•  India has signed CSP with other Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam in 2016 and Indonesia in 2018, leading to improved interaction.
•  Considering the bullying of China in the South China Sea region it is important to have an external defence architecture.
•  The acquisition of BrahMos may be seen in the same light as Manila strives to boost its defence capabilities, particularly in the maritime arena.
•  A CSP with the Philippines may allow India to increase its presence in the strategic region of South China Sea which lies at the centre of Southeast Asia, and is critical for passage of massive global cargo.
•  India’s involvement in the region translates into a multilateral joint resilience to help prevent domination of any single large power, consequentially helping to maintain freedom of navigation and rules-based order in the region.

Challenges Ahead:

•  While India and US have aligned together through QUAD in the Indo-Pacific, but it is difficult to analyse how the deepening relationship b/w New Delhi and Manila will be looked by US being a big power in the region.
•  Moreover, Philippines which sought to reap economic benefits by not pursuing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) tribunal ruling of 2016 against China. But realising that it wasn’t working out too well, the Philippines administration swung back to its oldest alliance with the US.

 

Source: THE HINDU.

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