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“India & Japan can become a power couple to counter China’s growing influence in Asia”: Dr Happymon Jacob

In his talk on ‘Bilateralism or Multilateralism:  Geopolitical Alternatives for India & Japan in the Indo-Pacific’, the JNU professor says India and Japan can provide developmental, normative and security alternatives in the region

02 MAY, 2022: In his talk on ‘Bilateralism or Multilateralism:  Geopolitical Alternatives for India & Japan in the Indo-Pacific’, on April 28th, Dr Happymon Jacob, Associate Professor, Diplomacy and Disarmament at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said the combined ability of India and Japan can provide developmental/infrastructural, normative, and security alternatives to the South Asian and Indian Ocean states

The talk was hosted by the Mizuho India Japan Study Centre (MIJSC) at IIM Bangalore as part of the ‘Tatsujin-Speak’ aka ‘Expert-Speak’ series.

“There is a decline in US power and a rise in Chinese power. With its huge spends on various Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, China’s influence in the Asian region and, perhaps, in the world is increasing.  Indians and Japanese will have to take the others on board, be that the rubric of the quad or any other such bodies, to push back Chinese aggression,” he said, adding that India has the ability to influence the Asian region politically, historically and diplomatically while Japanese have the ability to bring in technology and money. “This brings in a power couple who can collaborate for economic and infrastructural growth.”

On what he termed as China’s “debt strategy”, he said: “China jumps in to help you when you need money but grab assets when you are not able to pay back. Look at what happened in Sri Lanka.”

On the issue of supply chain challenges, Dr Jacob said: “We have woken up quite late, but we haven’t really lost the initiative completely.  With regional economic partnerships, India can reduce the world’s dependence on China. Countries like India and Japan can try and work around the Chinese. It is possible to do so in certain sectors like high technology and sensitive technology.”

In conclusion, he said: “We are uncertain about the future of global governance in some ways. But bilateral and multilateral efforts can be undertaken to strengthen security, stability and prosperity in the Asian region.”

Watch the entire talk here: https://youtu.be/yF0jszN5ysI