India’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) could be considered as a chance to gain recognition in the global platform. In order to make this happen, India must be able to balance ties with China, the US and Russia and guard its own interests. Besides that, connectivity and economic cooperation can be guaranteed by establishing strong relationships with the SCO member countries along with the observer countries like Afghanistan and Iran.

Image source: Zee News

By Meenakshy Menon

For a developing country like India, its “Neighbourhood First” policy defines an effective usage of its soft power. By developing a strong bond with the BIMSTEC and ASEAN countries, India has kept its word of keeping up its relationships with the countries in the Indian Ocean Region and South East Asia. There are visible tensions between India and China because of the ports being built by the latter around the Indian Ocean Region and not to mention the border disputes. A demarcating factor between China and India is that of a democratic approach of governance and India’s subtle use of its soft power.

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Meenakshy Menon is Research Intern at CPPR- Centre for Strategic Studies. Views expressed by the author are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of Centre for Public Policy Research.

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