India on Friday proposed a new security architecture for Asia, but ran out of steam by failing to define it with any confidence.
At an address to Peking University, foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee said, “We will need to evolve a security architecture which takes into account the conditions prevailing in Asia.” Arguing for “an open and inclusive architecture”, Mukherjee said it should not merely transplant ideas from the West. “Nor should we seek to create such sub-regional security arrangements that are narrow and ultimately ineffective,” Mukherjee told his audience at the university.
In this, India is obliquely echoing the US distaste for a China-driven East Asian security order. Instead, India plumped for a pan-Asian security vision which stretches from Central Asia to East Asia. India cited the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), Comprehensive International Cooperative Association (CICA) and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as organizations that could be the bedrock for such an arrangement.
Mukherjee said, “As two major countries in Asia, India and China should try to work together to evolve a new framework from these basic building blocks.”