USA - ALLY AGAINST CHINA?
China is considered the second potential enemy of India, the first being Pakistan. Indian defence preparedness is based also with a view of the threat from China. India’s Army Chief claims that we are prepared for a war on two fronts, obviously the second being the Eastern front with China.
But, is it right to see Pakistan and China through the same coloured glasses? Pakistan has been an enemy of India from its very inception. Meanwhile China, after the fundamentalist Mao tse Tung and the dismantling of USSR, had liberal leaders who found communism could not work, the country can progress only through controlled capitalism. So it took advantage of capitalist entrepreneurship while retaining communist discipline. The result was unprecedented development and becoming the supplier of consumer goods to the whole world. And India too is a major client with Chinese goods flooding the market.
However, political rivalry, if not enmity, persists, between India and China. There have been sporadic clashes along the long border. Chinese action to befriend countries in India’s neighbourhood, is considered with suspicion. Above all, Chinese help to Pakistan is seen as hostile by India.
However, India can do little to stop Chinese “expansionism” but to burn itself in jealousy and anger. But the danger posed by China to India is mostly imaginary and out of fear complex.
There have been border problem between the two countries, but not a shot is fired by the rival armies to settle them. Even in Doklam, which attracted much attention, China had only massed its troops but no intrusion to India was made. The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative to expand its communication to other countries was supported by almost all nations except India. India opposed it stating the road from China to the Arabian sea port goes through Pak occupied Kashmir (POK). So what? Doesn’t India build dams in Indian part of Kashmir, though Pakistan considers it a disputed territory. No doubt China could enter into economic partnership with Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, which all were under Indian influence. But it was because these countries found China as a better economic power than India.
India’s option to regain its power and prestige in South Asia and Indian Ocean region is to grow as a formidable economic power rivalling China. Instead, India is trying to depend on the US which is opportunistic and undependable. Pakistan has ruined itself by depending on the US. Should India too take the same path by conceding US supremacy in the Indian ocean?