India’s Foreign Policy Dilemna
As a foreign Policy watchers in India, we remain confused about the road to be chosen,
Should India be pro America,
Should we come closer to China
OR should we again become non aligned.
We are struggling to reach a optimum position.
Before concluding something, analysing the realities is necessary
- Beijing’s GDP is nearly five times larger than India’s.
- Its military spending is thrice that of Delhi.
- India’s territorial disputes with China have also endured. China says the border is about 2,000 km — the Indian count is nearly 4,000.
- There is disagreement over Tibet and its relationship to Delhi and Beijing.
- Delhi worries about China’s deepening alliance with Pakistan and frets over Beijing’s growing power in the subcontinent and the Indian Ocean.
- India has a massive trade deficit with China.
- Beyond the bilateral and regional, Beijing has tripped up India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group
- China is unenthusiastic about India’s claim for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.
- China seems to block India’s rise on the global stage.
- The slogans on Asian solidarity were of no help in bringing India and China together in the Cold War.
- Delhi’s more recent joint quest with Beijing for a “multipolar world” (for limiting American influence) has begun to rub up against India’s new fears of a “unipolar Asia” (for a Sino-centric region).
- Delhi now fears Russia joining the China-Pak axis;
- Beijing campaigns against Delhi’s partnership with Washington and Tokyo.
Now let’s see the realities of Indo US bonhomie
- India has a significant trade surplus with America;
- India’s dynamic IT sector is deeply connected to America’s Silicon Valley.
- The US ended its pro-Pakistan tilt some years ago and has moved towards neutrality;
- Washington is more forthcoming than China in helping India counter cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.
- Unlike China, America supports India’s membership of the UNSC and the NSG.
- Washington says it wants to see India emerge as a great power;
- Some Indians are concerned about the unpredictability of US policies towards China and Pakistan.
- India can’t forget the imperatives of maintaining reasonable relations with a powerful neighbour like China.
- Some in Delhi might be pleased with the US president Donald Trump’s threat to adopt a more muscular approach to China
The biggest problem, however, is the fact that Delhi has no control over all the variables in the rapidly shifting distribution of power in Asia, especially between China and America.
There is third option of non alignment But
- It was easy to be “non-aligned” in the Cold War between America, the distant power, and Soviet Russia, once removed from India’s borders.
- China, in contrast, has a long and contested border with India and now looms larger than before.
- India’s messy relationship with China stands in contrast to growing political convergence with the United States.
- Others worry that Trump’s real objective is to work out a new deal with Beijing after creating leverage over economic and political issues.
So it seems that the churning will continue and to reach a conclusion is not possible.