Topic: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
2) At a time when the geopolitical contestation between China and the United States is escalating, do you think it has become imperative for the ASEAN to reclaim the strategic narrative in its favour in order to underscore its centrality in the emerging regional order? Examine.(250 words)
Why this question:
At the 34th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Bangkok in June, its member states finally managed to articulate a collective vision for the Indo-Pacific region in a document titled “The ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific”.
Demand of the question:
The answer must capture a detailed analysis of the role of ASEAN and its emerging role in the Indo-Pacific region.
Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.
Structure of the answer:
In brief explain the context of the question.
First explain that the for a long time, the ASEAN has been reluctant to frontally engage with the Indo-Pacific discourse as the perception was that it may antagonize China. But there was soon a realization that such an approach might allow others to shape the regional architecture and marginalize the ASEAN itself. And so, the final outlook that the ASEAN has come up with effectively seeks to take its own position rather than following any one power’s lead.
Explain then in what way ASEAN is redefining the Indo-pacific narrative.
Explain the stakes of US and china in the regions, discuss the effects of the turf between the two.
Conclude with significance of ASEAN in the Indo-pacific narrative.