Sitting on the edge of the Indian Ocean's eastern shores in Suvarnabhumi's "Golden Peninsula", and looking out west towards the Indian sub-continent, one cannot help but be in awe and admiration of the Democratic Republic of India's rise as a world power and how it has played the art of diplomacy with finesse.
Although still considered to be a developing country, in part due to the large segment of its population in the agricultural sector and the prevalence of poverty spread throughout the country, India in fact possesses numerous competitive industries, has provided scientific and technological advancements in multiple areas and developed a skilled and educated manpower that is incorporated in countless laboratories, research institutions and high level management.
The respect that India commands from the global community goes well beyond it surpassing China as having the world's largest population. The country's location amid the Indian Ocean is highly strategic regarding global shipping lanes and military movement. It is self-reliant in the aerospace realm, even building its own aircraft carriers and working with the United States to manufacture a new generation of engines for fighter jets. And finally, it is also a nuclear power. India has thus many outstanding attributes.
India is now a force to be reckoned with and has been using its attributes with great success through the use of diplomacy. That India is friendly with and accepted by almost all other countries speaks volumes about its standing in the geopolitical landscape. Its diplomatic finesse and sophistication is demonstrated by the fact that the country maintains positive relations with both China and Russia on one side and also with the United States, Western Europe and Japan on the other side. Although India has had border disputes with China, it still cooperates with the Chinese in the context of the Brics entity (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) including in the setting up of a new development bank to compete with the Western-dominated World Bank and the IMF.
India works closely with China in the context of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Additionally, despite joining the US, Japan and Australia in the Quad arrangements, India has continued to maintain and expand relations with Russia in spite of Western sanctions placed in response to their invasion of Ukraine. In other words, India has been able to play all of its cards without causing consternation or facing an adverse reaction. The country's diplomats have successfully carried out their duties in a very professional manner.
One can therefore hope that India's leadership and diplomats will utilise the above mentioned networking for the benefit of the global common good, especially with regard to peacemaking and attempting to create a harmonious existence for the international community India is a successful democracy, and its foreign policy should reflect this identity, which includes the secession of supplying arms to the Myanmar military junta that have continuously been used in their illegal coup and to commit atrocities against innocent civilians.
India can lead by example by inviting both China and Pakistan back to the negotiating table to settle their ongoing border dispute issues. India and Pakistan can would then be able to work together to revive the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and thus bring back the concept and realisation of the Asian Highway. Once the border negotiations begin, India and China as well as Pakistan can work together not only in the Brics or Shanghai Cooperation Organization context, but could also bring about change within the United Nations, especially in taming conflict and confrontation within the United Nations Security Council.
Thanks to their strong leadership and diplomatic endowments, the rise of both India and China can have an extremely positive impact on the world at large should the countries work together for the betterment of bilateral relations, the Indo-Pacific region and the global community at large.
Kasit Piromya is a retired diplomat with a career of over 30 years as ambassador of Thailand to countries like the Soviet Union, Indonesia, Germany, Japan and the United States. He served as foreign minister from 2009 to 2011.