India Turns East

International Engagement and US-China Rivalry

June 2017 9781849048354 272pp


India Turns East tells the story of India’s long and difficult journey to reclaim its status in a rapidly changing Asian environment increasingly shaped by the US-China rivalry and the uncertainties of US commitment to Asia’s security. The Look East policy initially aimed at reconnecting India with Asia’s economic globalisation. As China became more assertive, Look East rapidly evolved into a comprehensive strategy with political and military dimensions.

Frédéric Grare argues that, despite this rapprochement, the congruence of Indian and US objectives regarding China is not absolute. The two countries share similar concerns, but differ in their tactics as well as their thoughts about the role China should play in the emerging regional architecture. Moreover, though bilateral US policies are usually perceived positively in New Delhi, paradoxically, the multilateral dimensions of the US Rebalance to Asia policy sometimes pushes New Delhi closer to Beijing’s positions than to Washington’s. This important new book explores some of the possible ways out of India’s ‘Eastern’ dilemma.


‘[This book is] essential for diplomats dealing with the region.’ — Choice

‘An important and thoughtful study of India’s response to the rise of China, its relationship with South East Asia and its emerging friendship with the United States.’ — Gareth Price, Senior Research Fellow, Asia Programme, Chatham House

India Turns East recounts how India refocused its attention on trade and investment towards East Asia from the early 1990s onwards. Lucidly written and well researched, it deals with developments that have widespread implications for international relations given the growing economic importance of Asia.’ — Athar Hussain, Director of the Asia Research Centre, LSE

‘Whether India continues to rise and prosper depends on the success of its Look East policy. This fine book, by one of the most perceptive analysts working on the region’s strategic dynamics, examines the origins, present state, and likely prospects of New Delhi’s reengagement of East Asia.’ — Ian Hall, Professor of International Relations and Acting Director, Griffith Asia Institute

‘With a rising, increasingly belligerent China and an uncertain commitment to the region by the US, Grare’s book is essential reading on the challenges that India faces as it navigates multiple changes in the region. A masterly study.’ — Amitabh Mattoo, Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

India Turns East is an insightful analysis of India’s strategic and economic options in Asia. Grare particularly looks into the strategic triangle – India, US and China – and how the Look East Policy becomes a tool for India to “reassert itself on the regional scale”. Anyone seeking nuanced analysis of India’s Look East Policy should read this book.’ — Thongkholal Haokip, Assistant Professor, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; author of India’s Look East Policy and the Northeast


Frédéric Grare is a senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment’s South Asia Program. His research focuses on security issues, Afghan, Indian and Pakistani regional policies and the tension between stability and democratisation. He has served at the French Defence Ministry’s Directorate for Strategic Affairs, at the French embassy in Pakistan and as director of the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities in New Delhi.

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