Episode 64: India as an Indo-Pacific Power and Strategic Partner

As India is quickly developing as a major power, Global Security Briefing considers its prospects as a partner for the UK in the context of the Indo-Pacific ‘Tilt’

The world has many emerging powers, but India is probably the one with the greatest potential to shift the balance in the Indo-Pacific and, perhaps, the world over coming generations. Following independence, India forged a ‘non-aligned’ path through the Cold War. For most of its history, its main security threat came from neighbouring Pakistan, with which it has fought a series of wars, and competed successfully in a race to acquire nuclear weapons. Today, it is the prospect that India might take a side in the great power competition between the USA and China that is drawing the attention of the world.

India’s gigantic population and skills base also makes it an attractive market and technology partner, not least for Britain, as the UK seeks to develop new economic relations after leaving the EU. The UK government’s ‘Integrated Review’ of March 2021 described India as “an international actor of growing importance” and states the ambition to transform the UK’s cooperation with India “across the full range of our shared interests”. UK-India relations are framed by a mutually agreed roadmap to deepen bilateral ties by 2030 with the aim of developing a comprehensive strategic partnership.

In this episode, host Neil Melvin is joined by Dr Walter Ladwig III of King’s College London. Beyond what it offers the UK ‘tilt’, the trajectory of India’s rise appears certain to influence the outcome of military strategic rivalry, the evolution of global governance and the competition of different civilisational values. The question is ‘how?’.

The views or statements expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the podcast does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by RUSI employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of RUSI.


Dr Neil Melvin

Director, International Security

International Security

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