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 co
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

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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