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22 MAY, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. As the US is challenged by a rising China in Asia, navigating between Beijing and Washington poses a major challenge for India. How should India respond in order to find a balance between these two superpowers? (200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    The current US administration was expected to be tough with China seeing election rhetoric. But since he was sworn into office, President Trump has displayed an unprecedented degree of warmth in his attitude towards China. This is because US needs China to deal with Iran, North Korea etc.
    Given the advancements that China has made both economically and militarily, the US will need to channel considerable resources to assert its global and regional primacy. India can serve as a valuable partner for US in this regard.
    Beijing’s growing power projections in India’s neighbourhood, ambitious economic projects and territorial disputes with India force India’s hands into aligning with US to maintain regional balance.

    However, India needs to maintain warm ties with Beijing to:
    • Secure peace on the borders
    • India runs a trade deficit with China and is greatly dependent on it
    • Make US wary of a strong Sino-Indian relationship which can shift the balance in Asia-pacific region and negotiate from an advantage position

    It seems that India has been caught in a situation where it
    • Needs strategic autonomy to maintain relationship with Washington
    • Healthy relationship with a large neighbour
    In such an uncertain situation India needs to maintain ambiguity in its overtures

  • Osho Korde

    • Election of President Donald Trump and his inauguration on 20 January 2017 has introduced huge uncertainty in relations between US with most major powers of the world including Russia, China, Europe, Japan and to some extent India.
    • While relations of US with Russia and India are expected to improve in the coming days, it would appear that relations with China are in for a huge setback.
    • What is clear is that it is not going to be business as usual as far as US-China relations are concerned. The writing is on the wall for everyone to see.
    • The future, however, is uncertain and unpredictable.
    • It is not clear what concrete actions Trump will take to contain the growing influence of China in economic, political, military and strategic terms.
    • It is, however, obvious that both the US and India are on the same page when dealing with China.
    • Increased pressure by the US on China would hence have beneficial consequences for India as it would reduce the space available to China to assert itself and dominate the region and beyond.
    • While collaborating with the USA, India will need to ensure that it continues to retain its strategic autonomy which would inter alia include improving relations with China in non-contentious areas.