While Hillary Clinton is launching a high profile push for cooperation in Southeast Asia and China, India is hosting a less-publicized meeting of its own. At the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation meeting in New Delhi, India and the countries of the Mekong Delta (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Burma, and Thailand) are getting together for a diplomatic effort aimed at improving cooperation in tourism, culture, education, and transportation. The Diplomat has the story:
To date, India has been unable to take full advantage of this 12-year-old initiative as rudimentary problems pertaining to a lack of connectivity by rail, road, and air have plagued the six countries. However, diplomatic sources say that Indian leaders are becoming more proactive towards the MGC grouping, and as the hosts of this meeting will try to push the envelope to increase New Delhi’s presence in China’s backyard.
As Via Meadia pointed out yesterday, India’s isolated and insurgency-plagued Northeast could benefit a great deal from these increased linkages with its Eastern hinterlands, thereby improving India’s internal stability and the region’s security vis-à-vis China.