India's decision on RCEP raises questions about its Act East and Indo-Pacific strategies

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi with China's Premier Li Keqiang during the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit in Bangkok on Nov 4, 2019. A key reason behind India's decision to not join RCEP was its fear that the agreement could further deepen its trade deficit with the region, especially China. PHOTO: AFP
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NEW DELHI - India's decision to stay out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, announced earlier this month, was motivated by domestic political and economic pressures.

But the country's absence from a key piece of trading architecture that is expected to shape Asia-Pacific's future has prompted questions on two Indian foreign policy priorities for this region - Act East and Indo-Pacific.

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