Key foreign policy challenges India faces in 2019

 One of the key foreign policy challenges that India faces in the year ahead is juggling its relationship with the US and the west on one hand and Russia and China on the other.

Published: 01st January 2019 04:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st January 2019 04:30 AM   |  A+A-

External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj (File| AP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  One of the key foreign policy challenges that India faces in the year ahead is juggling its relationship with the US and the west on one hand and Russia and China on the other. Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two back-to-back trilateral meetings —with US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping —on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires December 1 is proudly touted as a sign of India’s “strategic autonomy”, the fact remains that navigating an increasingly polarised world will require deft diplomatic handling.

ALSO READ: Foreigners with valid papers can now fly directly to Andamans

This will be particularly difficult when it comes to multilateral forums such as the UN Security, the WTO, the  Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and even the G-20, where India will have to juggle conflicting positions and opinions.

“There’s talks of unilateralism, authoritarianism and lack of transparency. We have to navigate carefully through this while retaining our space,” admitted a senior source privy to the government’s thinking. “We have very good relationships with both sides, and hence there are also expectations which we will need to address. We don’t intend to get caught in the crossfire, but there will be crossfire,” he said.

Other challenges mostly involve economic diplomacy, which includes India’s push to revive the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP, and the BTI, a Broadbased trading and investment agreement which involves the EU, and its refusal to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Ensuring China walks the talk re market access and addressing President Trump’s concerns over trade issues will also require economic and diplomatic finesse.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp