There is a case to be made for an India-led initiative in the Indo-Pacific that displays greater commitment to upholding international law than to ‘inclusivity’ as well as willingness to take on a wider ambit of regional responsibilities in the security and political domains
The political, social and security implications do not look pretty for countries participating in the BRI. New Delhi might, however, consider if absolute opposition to the BRI is ultimately doing either its relationship with China or its own global image any long-term good.
Calling the North Korean regime a ‘rogue’ one only deflect attention from China’s responsibility and indirect support for nuclear proliferation
Even the common ‘threat’ of China has not really helped lay the foundation for a deeper and sustainable India-Japan partnership in the politico-strategic realm.
The recent visits of Indian Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Vietnam are signs of a growing convergence of concerns that these countries have about China. But no strategic grouping can be sustainable without also developing linkages at multiple levels.
A US-India-China trilateral dialogue based on traditional security considerations is not likely to get very far. Therefore, start with non-traditional security issues of common concern.
If “much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia”, then New Delhi will need to find the energy and resources to focus not just on its troubled western frontiers but also on its sprawling and diverse eastern neighbourhood.
The decline of Western dominance, symbolized by the financial crisis in 2008 and the rise of emerging actors such as China, India and Brazil, will fundamentally change the way decisions are made at the international level. Apart from changing the way decisions are made, the rise of non-established powers such as India and Brazil on the one hand and China on the other, will also have an impact on the international discourse on political values and systems of governance.
If economic interdependence is insufficient for China to compromise on territorial issues with its smaller neighbours, the latter are unlikely to behave any differently.