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In Pics: Indian Foreign Policy in 2020; From tensions at LAC with China to health diplomacy in pandemic

Updated : December 31, 2020 09:50 PM IST

As we bid adieu to 2020, here’s a recap of major developments that shaped dominated India’s foreign policy this year:

 Health diplomacy:  India, known as the pharmacy of the world, commercially supplied Hydroxychloroquine and active pharmaceutical ingredient of HCQ to 82 countries, including the US. Moreover, India has so far exported more than 20 million PPE and over 40 million N-95 masks.
Health diplomacy: India, known as the pharmacy of the world, commercially supplied Hydroxychloroquine and active pharmaceutical ingredient of HCQ to 82 countries, including the US. Moreover, India has so far exported more than 20 million PPE and over 40 million N-95 masks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis. Recently, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had organised a visit of 64 foreign envoys to leading biotech companies in Hyderabad --Bharat Biotech and Biological E -- displays India's vaccine diplomacy and achievements, besides reach-out efforts to ensure future cooperation on the Covid-19 front.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis. Recently, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had organised a visit of 64 foreign envoys to leading biotech companies in Hyderabad --Bharat Biotech and Biological E -- displays India's vaccine diplomacy and achievements, besides reach-out efforts to ensure future cooperation on the Covid-19 front.
 Evacuation of citizens:  The diplomatic efforts and priorities of the Indian government shifted to healthcare and evacuating its citizens from the COVID-19-affected regions. Nearly 4 million Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the 'Vande Bharat' evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Evacuation of citizens: The diplomatic efforts and priorities of the Indian government shifted to healthcare and evacuating its citizens from the COVID-19-affected regions. Nearly 4 million Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the 'Vande Bharat' evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
 Foreign visits versus virtual summits:  PM Narendra Modi did not take a single foreign trip for the first time since taking office in 2014. But the PM held several virtual summits with leaders in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, Luxembourg, European Union, Uzbekistan, and Denmark. He also made extensive phone calls to keep in touch with world leaders in the absence of in-person meetings.
Foreign visits versus virtual summits: PM Narendra Modi did not take a single foreign trip for the first time since taking office in 2014. But the PM held several virtual summits with leaders in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, Luxembourg, European Union, Uzbekistan, and Denmark. He also made extensive phone calls to keep in touch with world leaders in the absence of in-person meetings.
 Multilateralism:  India pushed for the resurrection of old multilateral forums like SAARC and NAM to coordinate regional preparation and chart out plans to contain the pandemic. The PM attended several virtual multilateral summits including G20, India-ASEAN Summit and BRICS. India also hosted the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's (SCO) Council of heads of government summit in November.
Multilateralism: India pushed for the resurrection of old multilateral forums like SAARC and NAM to coordinate regional preparation and chart out plans to contain the pandemic. The PM attended several virtual multilateral summits including G20, India-ASEAN Summit and BRICS. India also hosted the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's (SCO) Council of heads of government summit in November.
 COVID-related humanitarian aid:  India has also provided economic aid to many countries including the Maldives and Sri Lanka to mitigate the impact of coronavirus. In September, India handed over financial assistance of USD 250 million to the government of Maldives as budgetary support to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. New Delhi had finalised a $400-million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka under the SAARC framework to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
COVID-related humanitarian aid: India has also provided economic aid to many countries including the Maldives and Sri Lanka to mitigate the impact of coronavirus. In September, India handed over financial assistance of USD 250 million to the government of Maldives as budgetary support to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. New Delhi had finalised a $400-million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka under the SAARC framework to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
 India-China relations : Beijing-New Delhi ties have nosedived amid the ongoing standoff in the Ladakh between the PLA and the Indian Army. The ties between the two Asian powers nosedived significantly following a fierce clash in the Galwan Valley that left 20 Indian soldiers dead in mid-June. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.
India-China relations: Beijing-New Delhi ties have nosedived amid the ongoing standoff in the Ladakh between the PLA and the Indian Army. The ties between the two Asian powers nosedived significantly following a fierce clash in the Galwan Valley that left 20 Indian soldiers dead in mid-June. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.
 India-Pakistan ties:  New Delhi-Islamabad relations remained unchanged as Pakistan continued with its support to cross border terrorism to create instability in Jammu and Kashmir while India maintained a policy of hot pursuit to deal with the menace. India also continued its diplomatic offensive against Pakistan on the issue of terrorism and remained firm on not having any talks with Islamabad until it stops cross border terrorism.
India-Pakistan ties: New Delhi-Islamabad relations remained unchanged as Pakistan continued with its support to cross border terrorism to create instability in Jammu and Kashmir while India maintained a policy of hot pursuit to deal with the menace. India also continued its diplomatic offensive against Pakistan on the issue of terrorism and remained firm on not having any talks with Islamabad until it stops cross border terrorism.
 India-US ties:  The ties between New Delhi and Washington saw major expansion with the two countries elevating it to a
India-US ties: The ties between New Delhi and Washington saw major expansion with the two countries elevating it to a "comprehensive global strategic partnership" during the two-day visit to India in February by President Donald Trump. In October, India and the US sealed the long-pending BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement) agreement to further boost bilateral defence ties. The pact provides for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries. India expects the relations to grow further under Joe Biden's presidency as he is known to be a strong proponent of closer India-US ties since his days as a senator in the 1970s.
 India-Nepal relations:  Relations with Kathmandu came under some strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand in May. Nepal claimed the road passed through its territory. The relations appeared to be back on track to a significant extent following visits to Kathmandu by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Army Chief Gen MM Naravane in November. Meanwhile, New Delhi closely keeps a tab on the growing ties between Beijing and Kathmandu.
India-Nepal relations: Relations with Kathmandu came under some strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand in May. Nepal claimed the road passed through its territory. The relations appeared to be back on track to a significant extent following visits to Kathmandu by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Army Chief Gen MM Naravane in November. Meanwhile, New Delhi closely keeps a tab on the growing ties between Beijing and Kathmandu.
 Quad Meet 2020:  As Chinese actions in key maritime channels fueled greater concerns, foreign ministers of India, the US, Australia and Japan held extensive in-person talks under the framework of the Quadrilateral coalition or Quad in Tokyo on October 6, signalling serious resolve to work vigorously towards a collective vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
Quad Meet 2020: As Chinese actions in key maritime channels fueled greater concerns, foreign ministers of India, the US, Australia and Japan held extensive in-person talks under the framework of the Quadrilateral coalition or Quad in Tokyo on October 6, signalling serious resolve to work vigorously towards a collective vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
 UN Security Council:  In another important development, India scored a major diplomatic victory in June to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2021-22 term. India won 184 votes out of 192 valid votes in the elections held for the vacant non-permanent seats.
UN Security Council: In another important development, India scored a major diplomatic victory in June to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2021-22 term. India won 184 votes out of 192 valid votes in the elections held for the vacant non-permanent seats.
Published : December 31, 2020 09:50 PM IST
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