- Prelims: Current events of international importance(India-US relations, Indo-China disputes etc )
- Mains GS Paper II: Bilateral, regional and global grouping involving India, Significance of Indo-Pacific for India etc
- The India-China relationship is once again at a new low, avoiding war but regrettably inventing new ways of confrontation like the 1962 war
INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE
- One that poses the most intense challenge to an individual/organization and has the power to shape its future choices and consequent outcomes.
- Strategic decision making: It is a useful method of optimizing and prioritizing strategic decision-making.
- Principal contradiction: China is contemporary India’s principal strategic contradiction.
- Secondary contradiction: Other challenges like Pakistan, internal insurgencies, and difficulties in relations with its neighbors.
Elements of China test:
- Regional development: Assessment of how a certain Indian decision or a specific regional development squares with Chinese regional strategy or interests.
- Modification at secondary level: assessment of whether India’s decision or a certain regional development would require India to make modifications at the level of secondary contradictions.
- Major policy change: assessment of whether this would require any major policy changes internally.
Role of USA:
- It is seeking to re-engage southern Asia: Pakistan, South Asia in general, the Indo-Pacific, and perhaps even the Taliban.
- The standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control in 2020 was a consequence of India’s growing proximity to the U.S.
China test of India-U.S. relations:
- It is not in China’s interest to see an American re-engagement of the region or growing India-U.S. proximity.
- India-U.S. strategic engagement in the region would help China’s long-term objectives.
- India: It should not give into the short-term temptation of not being on the wrong side of China given its long-term implications.
China test for Indo-Pak relations:
- For China: Best-case scenario is an India preoccupied with Pakistan
- It will ensure that India is not focused on the growing threat from China.
- Balancing Chinese power: India should actively seek not a balance of power in South Asia with Pakistan but balancing Chinese power in Southern Asia.
- India’s objective in South Asia: It should be to seek a pacification of conflicts with Pakistan, so that it can focus on China
Why should India not oppose the American engagement of Pakistan?
- It helps prevent Pakistan from going into the China camp completely.
- A Pakistan engaged with the U.S. and the West is better for India than a Pakistan shunned by the U.S. and the West.
China test of India-Russia relations:
- Continuous engagement: There is a strong rationale for India to continue its relationship with Russia.
- In the absence of an India-Russia relationship: The extent of Sino-Russian cooperation is likely to strengthen
- India will be cut out of the continental space to its north and west.
- India continues to get:
- Discounted energy
- Cheaper defense equipment
- Support at the United Nations Security Council
- Political sensitivities: Russia has understood India’s ‘political sensitivities’ more than its western partners.
Implications of India’s break away from Russia:
- The natural beneficiary of such an eventuality will, undoubtedly, be China.
- This could push Russia towards Pakistan with or without some nudging from Beijing.
- China test: A ready China test can help prioritize strategic decision making in the longer run, at least as an analytical tool with potential policy utility.
- The turn away from Russia: It will ensure that China gets a free hand in Central Asia.
- Therefore There is a strong rationale for India to continue its relationship with Russia.
- Smart balancing China in Southern Asia and beyond must form a key element in India’s grand strategic planning and decision making.
QUESTION FOR PRACTICE
Q. How will I2U2 (India, Israel, UAE and USA) grouping transform India’s Position in global politics ?(UPSC 2022) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)