ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Limited Geopolitical Accommodation Benefits for India–China Relations

The nature of Sino–Indian interactions across five issue areas highlights that Delhi and Beijing have more overlapping interests than is generally recognised. Such an analytical exercise also reveals that South Asia is potentially the most contentious arena for India–China relations. A limited Sino–Indian geopolitical accommodation in the immediate neighbourhood is both viable and necessary to arrest the deterioration in the bilateral relationship in recent years and ensure regional stability.

India's Strategic Shift

In abandoning strategic restraint in favour of strategic proactivism, India is transiting from a strategic doctrine of offensive deterrence to compellence. This is not without its dangers since the military doctrines of India and Pakistan are presently coupled in a volatile way. Moving towards proactivism makes them altogether combustible. This makes the strategic logic of the shift suspect, prompting speculations as to its inspiration.

Belt and Road Initiative

American unilateralism has become a problem for the world. Post the Cold War, American hegemony has become inimical to world peace. After more than 25 years, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Both Russia and China are geographically destined to offer resistance against a unipolar world. However, the two are most likely to fail if they challenge the United States militarily. They can challenge American power peacefully by diverting international trade away from the oceans towards Eurasian land routes. The new Silk Road initiative by China, and unity hold the key to a peaceful world.

Military-Bureaucracy Brinksmanship

There is a widening civil-military "gap" in India today which stems from developments on both sides of the divide. The liberalisation and rapid growth of the Indian economy over the last 25 years have considerably increased the gap between the economic profi les of the civilian and military personnel.

Skidding Down the Strategic Slope

While Modi's recent visit to the United States locks India in a tight strategic embrace with the US, the Chinese will not take kindly to India embracing US policy in the South and East China seas. India's inability to make headway with China will exacerbate the costs of furthering this misshapen relationship. A clear and open debate is imperative to weigh the costs and benefits of Indo-US relations.

Nuclear Retaliation Options

The debate on nuclear retaliation options has been hijacked by realists, with even the liberal security perspective marginalised. Engagement with the issue by nuclear abolitionists is called for, lest the impression of a consensus develops around the realist offering of "unacceptable damage" that promises nothing but genocide, a global environmental disaster and national suicide in its wake.

Unshackle India's Strategic Thinking

As India is all set to ink the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the United States, it must revisit its history while formulating the current policy of military-to-military ties with the US. India's strategy must address the issue of freedom from Western thought and question imperial alignments ingrained in such defence agreements.

Ties That Might Bind

The official relationship between India and Japan has now been elevated to a "global" and "strategic partnership." Understanding this qualitative leap in India-Japan ties is less easy than it looks. An origin story of the India-Japan relations explains how its state today is a reflection of the way Japan has changed in the last half a century.

Guarding the E-Treasury from Cyber Companies

Cyber technology offers emancipatory possibilities. It also allows coercive regimes to intrude into people's privacy. The shape the internet takes will hinge, to a great extent, on how Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and Japan, negotiate its structure with the Western powers.
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