India’s Foreign Policy in 2021 – UPSC GS2

India’s foreign policy in 2021:
  • Relations with the US and its allies: India took active engagements with the U.S. and went beyond familiarisation with the new government to increased commitment to Quad and acceptance of AUKUS and formation of the ‘western Quad’, with the U.S., Israel and the UAE.
  • Relations with Russia: Major agreements were signed with Russia, despite the American threat of CAATSA against S-400 missiles and the Russian inclination to align with China in the days to come.
  • Relations with China: The relations with China met with limited success. China is confident that the growing hard power, economic and military, gives it the luxury to dispense with diplomatic niceties. Hence,
    • China has not shown willingness to disengage in Ladakh and withdraw to the previous positions behind the Line of Actual Control.
    • Changed the names of various places in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Building villages on the unpopulated border with India.
    • Trying to create a wedge between India and its close Himalayan neighbours — Nepal and Bhutan.
    • Seeking to undermine Indian influence in the Maldives and Sri Lanka and, more broadly, in the Indian Ocean.
  • Taliban in Afghanistan: American notion of bringing in some civility to the Taliban in Kabul has failed. Now it is a high priority for India to face a Pakistan-China-Taliban axis with some support from Russia and Iran.
  • Relations with Myanmar: In 2021, the Foreign Secretary visited Myanmar to engage the military junta at a time when Aung San Suu Kyi and other opposition leaders are in prison.
  • Climate Change: India decided to stand out of the line on the matter of net-zero emission target years but succumbed to the pressure to commit more to promote renewable energy and phasing down coal.
  • United Nations: India took the presidency of the UN Security Council in August 2021 and provided significant contributions. But, India showed less interest in the demand for United Nations reform in 2021.

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