Dr. Arvind Gupta is the Director General of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi, India. His current interests include the international security issues, India’s foreign policy, energy security, climate change, technology & internal security issues. He has three books, several edited books and a number of academic publications to his credit. He has been a member of several task forces on issues such as space security, climate change, cyber security, and nuclear disarmament.
India needs to have a long term strategy to make use of the opportunities arising in the Asia-Pacific region while keeping in view the challenges on the security front. Several political security economic and socio-cultural trends are at play making the Asia Pacific region a highly dynamic region. These include the rise of China; the rebalancing strategy of the US; efforts at evolving a regional security architecture; recurring tensions on the Korean peninsula, the South China Sea and East China Sea; the growing salience of the Indian Ocean region and maritime issues; the emergence of non-traditional security issues. Key issues are: Will China’s rise be peaceful? Will the region be able to evolve a regional security architecture? India began adjusting to the new realities in the Asia Pacific region in the early nineties when it launched its Look East Policy aimed at deepening engagement with the ASEAN countries. The Look East Policy (LEP) began by initiating a sectoral dialogue with ASEAN and has graduated India becoming a founder member of the East Asia Summit and signing an FTA with ASEAN. The LEP has been a success. Today, India is widening its engagement with not only ASEAN but also China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. India’s approach to the Asia Pacific region is still evolving. In the years to come, this engagement will take many forms. The aim of Indian foreign policy is to safeguard its security interests, ensure economic development and foster regional stability and peace.