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India
30 Dec 2016

PM Modi's 2016 foreign policy mission accomplished

Prime Minister Modi's third year in office had effectively been a time of foreign policy consolidation.

Though his overseas travels reduced by a third, his primary foreign policy mission - restoring overseas confidence in the Indian economy - has been accomplished.

However, the year began with Pathankot attack and is coming to an end with the worst Line of Control violence in eight years.

In context

PM Modi's foreign policy honeymoon over?

India's image

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared, "For me more than what the world thinks of the government, what the image of the country is, is important."

PM Modi's game-changing initiatives in 2016

Modi's Initiatives

PM Modi's game-changing initiatives in 2016

Modi played the first moves of some game-changing initiatives in 2016.

One such move changed the Persian Gulf monarchies' attitude towards India resulting in Pakistan's separation from its long-standing Arab supporters.

With the new Indo-African relationship, India trades more with Africa than Japan or the US.

With Japan's help, Modi intends to transform the Bay of Bengal with plans like Sagarmala and BIMSTEC resurrection.

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Donald Trump's circle

Modi wants to ensure that US President-elect Donald Trump sees a friend in India. Fortunately, Trump's circle sees Modi as an "ideological forerunner" to their victory. India is among the few countries that don't worry their ties with the Trump-led US would take heavy knocks.

Sino-Indian Ties

India's relations with China soured in 2016

While PM Modi hoped Sabarmati summit with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping would normalize the bilateral ties, China showed its true colors.

Sino-Indian ties went into reverse, as China, traditionally wary of taking stances on Indo-Pak disputes, now openly supports Pakistan.

Also, China blocked India's Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership and India sought to unnerve China about the security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The China-India equation and Pakistan

While the Sino-Indian border remained quiet in 2016, the other Indian border, with Pakistan, was in flames. A worsening China-India equation along with Kashmir riots encouraged Pakistan to "prod" India harder. Senior Indian diplomats say, "Pakistan is a subset of our China relations."

Rivals

India's two main Rivals - China, Pakistan

PM Modi's early foreign policy honeymoon with China and Pakistan is now over.

His "surgical language" - responding militarily and making it public - is seen as signaling for the upcoming year, which is expected to be one with global uncertainty.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, "There is an overall loosening of relationships and even countries that are formal allies are now hedging."

Question Marks

Questions that remain unanswered

Even as 2016 is coming to an end, several questions remain unanswered.

Those include the US-China relationship, the tensions caused by Islamic State, and the global economy's performance amid trade wars etc.

Modi would add to the list as he pushes through back-to-back reforms on India's economy in 2017; if the reforms are successful, India's growth would be ahead of several other countries.

01 Jan 2017

UN Sec-General to get dossier from Pak about India's interference

Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi will present a dossier on alleged "Indian interference" in its affairs to incoming UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 2nd January.

This includes information on Kulbhushan Yadav, the former Indian Navy personnel accused of being a R&AW operative.

She will also submit "evidence" of Indian submarine's attempt to violate Pakistan's maritime boundary.

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