South Asia

  • Across The Region

    Indo-Pacific Countries Launch Major Trade Talks

    Economic ministers from more than a dozen Indo-Pacific countries launched negotiations in September 2022 on the United States’ first major regional trade engagement effort in nearly a decade. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework talks in Los Angeles, California, were aimed at addressing future challenges and achieving “sustainable and equitable growth” in the region. U.S. President…

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  • Across The Region

    Indian Navy Commissions Biggest Aircraft Carrier in Domestic Defense Push

    India commissioned its first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier in September 2022, underlining New Delhi’s efforts to boost domestic production to supply a military deployed on two contentious borders. After 17 years of construction and tests, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned the INS Vikrant, pictured — the Navy’s second operational aircraft carrier and the largest warship ever built in India…

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  • Partnerships

    Women build on legacy of defense, security, peacekeeping contributions

    FORUM Staff Indian engineer Rajeshwari Chatterjee helped found her nation’s first microwave research lab in 1953. Her contributions to radar and antenna technology have defense applications more than 50 years later. Chemist Stephanie Kwolek, working for industrial chemistry giant DuPont in 1965, made a discovery that led to Kevlar, a fiber still used in body armor as well as to…

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  • Departments

    Eyes Right

    Sri Lankan Army Soldiers march during Independence Day celebrations in Colombo in February 2022.

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  • South AsiaINS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier

    India’s aircraft carriers key to Indo-Pacific strategy

    The Associated Press India is preparing to relaunch its INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier after a major refit, a critical step toward fulfilling its plan to deploy two carrier battle groups as it seeks to strengthen its regional maritime power to counter the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) increasing assertiveness. The Vikramaditya, pictured, is expected to be launched imminently and will…

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  • Global CommonsAn Indian helicopter fires a Helina anti-tank guided missile.

    India OKs ‘unprecedented’ procurement of military assets

    Mandeep Singh India has approved spending U.S. $10.18 billion to modernize its military on land, at sea and in the air while boosting the nation’s defense economy with largely domestic investments. Maritime and border security threats have led the nation’s Defence Ministry to procure assets for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. The “unprecedented initiative” will bring new…

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  • Key IssuesRafale fighter jets are readied aboard the French Navy aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle during exercise Varuna at Mormugao, India, in January 2023.

    France-India naval exercise deepens strategic partnership

    FORUM Staff France and India concluded the latest iteration of their long-running naval exercise Varuna in the Indian Ocean in late January 2023 as they celebrate 25 years of strategic partnership and work toward “an ambitious agenda for renewing, expanding and deepening their cooperation.” A French Navy carrier strike group (CSG) led by the nuclear-powered flagship Charles de Gaulle joined…

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  • Key IssuesThe Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga, foreground, the Indian Navy ship INS Shivalik and the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan sail in the Philippine Sea during the Malabar 2022 exercise with Australia.

    India-Japan drills signal deepening military cooperation

    Radio Free Asia The first joint combat air drills between India and Japan signal a deepening of the nations’ security ties as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) seeks to exert power and influence in the Indo-Pacific. The inaugural Veer Guardian 2023 exercise, delayed for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was held January 16-26 at the Hyakuri and…

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  • Conflicts - Tensions

    Border clash with India raises questions on PRC’s intentions at LAC

    FORUM staff On the heels of a deadly confrontation along their disputed Himalayan border in 2020, India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) agreed to “maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.” The agreement reaffirmed decades-old accords in which both nations pledged they would not seek unilateral military superiority along…

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  • Key Issues

    An Indo-Pacific view: 5 key issues to watch in 2023

    FORUM Staff A year that erupted with seismic events — one geological, the other geopolitical — rumbled to its close with war still raging in Europe but also with the forging of partnerships for peace in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. Just weeks after an underwater volcano in the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire spewed an immense cloud of ash and…

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