Amrita Jash

Assistant Professor, Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India

Amrita Jash is an assistant professor at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) in Manipal, India. She holds a PhD in Chinese Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University and was a recipient of the Pavate Fellowship at the University of Cambridge in 2019. She also received the Chief of the Army Staff (Indian Army) General Bipin Rawat’s commendation in 2019 for contributing to the field of Chinese Studies. Dr Jash has been a visiting fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, a UGC graduate fellow (2012-2017), a researcher under the Harvard-Yenching-Nanching Programme (2015), a researcher under China’s Ministry of Commerce (2014), and a US-India-China Initiative fellow at the Johns Hopkins SAIS (2013). She is also the author of The Concept of Active Defence in China's Military Strategy (Pentagon Press, 2021). Her research interests are China’s foreign policy, the PLA, and security and strategic issues in India-China and China-Japan relations as well as the Indo-Pacific.

 

Coast guard officers stand on the deck of the Indian Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel 'VIGRAHA' during its commissioning ceremony, in Chennai, India, on 28 August 2021. (Indian Navy/AFP)

With China’s increasing assertiveness, India’s active role in the Indian Ocean matters more than ever

India’s geostrategic location enables it to occupy a central position in the Indian Ocean region, although it has traditionally shown a reluctance to get too involved. This is all changing with China exerting a greater presence in the region and India’s own involvement in the Quad and a greater alignment of its Indian Ocean strategy with the “free and open Indo-Pacific” concept. In the last few years, it has stepped up its aid and outreach missions, as well as military partnerships with various stakeholders in the Indian Ocean. Indian academic Amrita Jash examines the impetus for and extent of India's shift.
A woman crossing a street passes by a wall art depicting Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi during a government-imposed lockdown to prevent the Covid-19 coronavirus from spreading in Noida, India on 21 May 2021. (Jewel Samad/AFP)

Indian researcher on the pandemic: It's a tragedy but India will continue to do its part

Amrita Jash considers the impact of a devastating second wave of Covid-19 on India’s foreign policy and its relationships with the region and the world. She observes that India will continue to take a collective approach to fighting the pandemic as it guards its flanks vis-à-vis China and Pakistan and builds closer ties with the US and fellow members of the Quad.
A coast guard official raises the Indian national flag on board the Indian Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel "Vajra" during its commissioning ceremony, in Chennai, India, on 24 March 2021. (Arun Sankar/AFP)

Indian academic: The Quad gains momentum and China feels threatened

Amrita Jash notes that the Quad has gained momentum since its inaugural virtual leader-level summit in March. China is worried, but she reasons that the Quad is taking a macro view by having a vision for a “free, open rules-based order, rooted in international law” in the Indo-Pacific, and this is a much larger endeavour than just simply targeting China. But whatever the suspicions or discomfort, the Quad mechanism looks set to stay.
This handout photo taken and released by the Indian Navy on 18 November 2020 shows a ship refuelling during the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the Arabian sea. (Indian Navy/AFP)

India warms up to the US amid 'new cold' in India-China relations

With both India-China and US-China relations grinding to a halt, the strengthening of India-US ties unnerves China the most, says Amrita Jash. Will recent high-signature events — such as the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) between the US and India, and the Malabar exercise involving the Quad countries of India, Japan, Australia and the US — have China walking on eggshells?
A woman looks out to the Indian Ocean at Meulaboh beach in Aceh on 12 July 2020. (Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP)

India in the Indo-Pacific: Reining in China in the new theatre of great power rivalry

In recent times, the Indo-Pacific has evolved from being a geographical concept to a political and strategic construct that means different things to different countries. With Covid-19 turning the international tide against China, proponents of ensuring a “free and open Indo-Pacific” have found more incentive to rally together. Among them, dominant stakeholders such as India can play a bigger role to balance the perceived threat.
A sign pasted on a security barricade is seen after the India Gate war memorial was closed for visitors amid measures for coronavirus prevention in New Delhi, India, on 19 March 2020. (Adnan Abidi/File Photo/Reuters)

India-China relations: Compromises and conflicts amid Covid-19

India and China marked 70 years of diplomatic relations with an exchange of letters between the countries’ leaders on 1 April. Other commemorative events were to follow but have been postponed due to the coronavirus. Often mentioned in the same breath as two populous Asian powers on the rise, India and China have seen their fair share of ups and downs as competitors and partners. Apart from derailing the celebratory side of things, how will pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic affect India-China relations?
People walk past closed stores on the Nakamise shopping street leading to the Sensoji temple in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, Japan, on 25 April 2020. (Soichiro Koriyama/Bloomberg)

Warming up of China-Japan ties hijacked by the pandemic

A severely disrupted supply chain, an inevitable blame game, a collision in the East China Sea... Dr Amrita Jash says that like many things this year, the warming up of China-Japan ties has been hijacked by the spread of Covid-19 and its aftermath.