2018 Republic Day ceremony will be historic and has the potential to be a diplomatic milestone
The 2018 Republic Day ceremony will be unprecedented and historic because for the first time in the history of Indian Republic 10 chief guests have been invited (yes, 10! you haven’t read that wrong). Every year on Republic Day a foreign head-of-state is invited as the chief guest. But on the occasion of the next Republic Day, 10 head-of-states of South Asian countries will be invited.
The Republic Day ceremony in 2018 will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the foundation of ASEAN(Association of South East Asian Nations)
ASEAN is a regional inter-governmental group that focuses on increased cooperation amongst the member states in trade, economy, education, security, development and cultural exchange. It was founded on 8th August 1967 in Bangkok.
With head-of-states of 10 countries — Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar and Philippines — taking the salute in New Delhi on Republic Day, the event will surely turn a lot of heads and send a very strong diplomatic message that in the era of global re-alignments, India is confident of its place in the world order and has buried the old hesitations of history.
It is believed that India is trying to pull South East Asia away from China, particular countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Singapore which are wary about China’s quest for regional dominance and share India’s concerns about China.
Vietnam and Indonesia had disputes with China in the South China Sea, which China claims exclusively as its own, in contravention of international maritime laws.