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India can balance China's strategic rise in Asia

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by CONNAN, Jan 13, 2011.

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  1. CONNAN

    CONNAN Major ELITE MEMBER

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    Last year, the leaders of all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council visited India, accompanied by delegations of business leaders. The Indian economy has been growing at more than 8 per cent annually, making it increasingly attractive for trade and investment.

    When US President Barack Obama visited in November, he supported permanent membership of the Security Council for India. So did British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. But the last to visit, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, said nothing at all about it.

    Official pronouncements stress friendly relations between India and China, and some trade analysts argue that the two giant, rapidly growing markets will become an economic "Chindia."

    When Premier Wen visited several years ago, he signed a comprehensive five-year strategic cooperation pact. As Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put it at the time, "India and China can together reshape the world order."

    Such statements reflect a considerable change from the hostility that bedeviled Indian-Chinese relations following the two countries' 1962 war over a disputed border in the Himalayas. Nevertheless, strategic anxiety lurks below the surface, particularly in India.

    China's GDP is three times that of India, its growth rate is higher, and its defence budget has been increasing. The border dispute remains unsettled, and both countries vie for influence in neighbouring states such as Myanmar. And, in recent years, China has worked behind the scenes to prevent permanent Security Council membership from conveying great-power status to India.

    But talk of India as a future great power is unavoidable, and some Indians predict a tri-polar world, anchored by the US, China, and India, by mid-century. India's population of 1.2 billion is four times that of the US, and likely to surpass China's by 2025.

    Vijay Joshi of St John's College, Oxford, argues that "if we extrapolate present trends, India will have the world's third largest national income (after the US and China) within 25 years."

    For decades, India suffered from what some called the "Hindu rate of economic growth" of a little over 1 per cent per year. After independence in 1947, India followed an inward-looking policy that focused on heavy industry.

    But it turned out that the rate of economic growth owed less to Hindu culture than to imported British Fabian (and other) socialist economic planning. After market-oriented reforms in the early 1990s, growth rates soared, with projections of double-digit growth in the future.

    Martin Wolf of the Financial Times calls India a "premature superpower" — a country with low living standards but a huge economy. He thinks that the Indian economy will be bigger than Britain's in a decade and bigger than Japan's in two.

    India has an emerging middle class of several hundred million, and English is an official language, spoken by 50-100 million people. Building on that base, Indian information industries are able to play a major global role.

    In terms of soft power, India has an established democracy, and a vibrant popular culture with transnational influence. India has an influential diaspora, and its motion picture industry, Bollywood, is the largest in the world in terms of the number of films produced yearly, out-competing Hollywood in parts of Asia and the Middle East.

    At the same time, India remains very much an underdeveloped country, with hundreds of millions of illiterate, destitute citizens. As a result, India's per capita income of $2,900 (in purchasing-power-parity terms) is one-half of China's and one-fifteenth that of the US.

    Even more striking, while 91 per cent of the Chinese population is literate and 43 per cent is urban, the numbers for India are only 61 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively. Each year India produces about twice as many engineering and computing graduates as America, but The Economist reports that "only 4.2 per cent are fit to work in a software product firm, and just 17.8 per cent are employable by an IT services company, even with six months training".

    Poor performance

    A symptom of this is India's poor performance in international comparisons of universities: the 2009 Asian University Rankings, prepared by the higher education consultancy QS, shows the top Indian institution to be the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai, at number 30. Ten universities in China and Hong Kong are ranked higher.

    India is thus unlikely to develop the power resources to become an equal to China in the next decade or two. And, while the two countries signed agreements in 1993 and 1996 that promised a peaceful settlement of the border dispute that led them to war in l962, it is worth noting that, just prior to India's nuclear tests in March l998, India's defence minister described China as India's "potential enemy number one". More recently, in 2009, the border issue flared again.

    Indian officials are generally discrete in public about relations with China, but in private their concerns remain intense. Rather than becoming an ally, India is more likely to become one of the Asian countries that will tend to balance China's strategic rise.

    gulfnews : India can balance China's strategic rise in Asia
     
  2. Coltsfan

    Coltsfan <b>SENIOR MEMBER</b> SENIOR MEMBER

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    PVN doesn't get enough credit for bringing in MMS while trying to run a minority coalition party.
     
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  3. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    GOI should walk its talk rather than tying the hands of armed forces personnel in bordering states.
     
  4. RoYaN

    RoYaN Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    What are you talking about ???
    Any thing to back up what you say???
     
  5. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Heard about Chennai Center for China Studies? These sad-case people came up with the concept that Indian troops shouldn't patrol near the "sensitive" zones and thus leaving major outposts deserted. Just because not to "agitate the Chinese". This leaves a lot of bordering zones empty and thus susceptible to encroachment. East Ladakh is a cold reminder that this stupid government continues to ignore.

    And by the way, I live in a state that borders with them. Historically and presently, my people were the first to face PLA's flak and see the misery here. There are things called people-to-people talks as well here that spread fast but don't essentially make it to mainstream media (when was the last time Sikkim actually came in TOI and HT?).

    So I fully know what I am talking about.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
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