India’s New Leadership and East Asia – 1
India’s election has produced a decisive majority for the political alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Incoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi promises to reinvigorate an economy whose annual growth rates have halved from near double-digit rates in recent years. He has pledged to tackle endemic corruption and create a slimmed-down, more effective state through what he calls “maximum governance, minimal government.” Modi cites his own record governing the state of Gujarat, which has grown faster than China for two decades, as an example of the pro-growth, no-nonsense management experience he would bring to New Delhi as prime minister. He has also promised to more forcefully pursue India’s interests abroad, including by responding more firmly to Chinese designs on India’s northeastern territories. East and Southeast Asian nations, as well as the United States, have high hopes for, and high stakes in, an Indian resurgence that could tilt Asia’s power balance in a democratic direction and further amplify India’s role on the global stage.
Daniel Twining, senior fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., served on the U.S. secretary of state's policy planning staff and as foreign policy adviser to U.S. Sen. John McCain.