- Middle powers hold the key economically and geopolitically for India’s growth and security.
- Modi’s international engagements were a continuation of India’s foreign policy and he injected a new energy into the relationships with neighbors like Bhutan and Nepal, and major powers like China and the U.S. which has been widely commented on.
- He also visited Japan and Australia, and is scheduled to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia later this year.
- Deeper ties with middle powers are important for India at a time when the magnitude of U.S. global influence is declining due to the rapid growth of China and the improving growth trajectories of numerous middle powers.
- The Indian economy’s projected growth, along with the country’s Modi-driven improved relationship with U.S., have enhanced India’s status with many of middle powers.
- India is now more open about its relations with Israel, and Modi plans to be the first Indian prime minister to visit the country and an attempt by India to engineer a three-way balancing of its relations with West Asian middle powers, including Saudi Arabia and Iran.
- China lacks the breadth of allies that the U.S. has, with only two firm friends – Pakistan and North Korea – both globally perceived to be trouble-makers.
- India and Australia have already signed a Framework for Security Cooperation in November 2014.
- Along with India and the U.S., Japan and Australia constitute the “strategic diamond” promoted by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
- Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, which first provided loans to India in 1958 and the Japanese public sector and private sector are involved in various projects in India.
- It is Japan that holds the key to unlocking the India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement.
- Deals such as the October 2014 one with Israel on the Spike missile defense system will help unlock India’s defense manufacturing capabilities.