Dominoes falling to China

Does India ever do anything on its 0wn initiative, proactively to protect its interests? Apparently not. Because almost every time you see India doing something in the extended neighborhood, it is in response to counteract what China has done. Take the latest little coup in the Maldives. MEA woke up only after realizing that Beijing had a large and growing diplomatic presence in Male, and that the transfer of power — in part the handiwork of Pakistani militant Islamic groups radicalizing powerful sections of that country’s society, had actually facilitated a Chinese naval presence with offer of R&R (rest and replenishment) rights for its naval ships in the Indian Ocean on the atoll and thereby insinuating itself into the Maldivan security calculus in the anti-piracy role, etc. that Delhi reared up, sending its Joint Secretary (West) to quiet the situation down and obtain from the present ruling dispensation the promise of elections that will give an India-friendly Mohammad Nasheed an opportunity to return to power. A similar  reaction-to-Chinese moves justification has been offered by the Manmohan Singh government for building the border roads infrastructure, the proposed railways connecting border provinces with the Indian mainland, and its attempts to recover lost ground in Myanmar. For the supposedly big power in the region, this is ridiculous. Either India goes aggressively proactive, or Delhi can wait on the sideline — as it is used to doing — and rue the loss of previously India-friendly regimes and pro-India assets in the near-abroad as these fall, like tipped Dominoes, into Beijing’s lap.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in Great Power imperatives, India's China Policy, India's Pakistan Policy, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Ocean. Bookmark the permalink.

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