President Obama is planning to visit India and other Asian countries. The main aim of his visit is to build a strategic partnership with the countries surrounding China as a counter weight to growing Chinese power. India is a major destination of his tour, where he plans to give a carrot to Indian policy makers. India’s response to Obama’s bait has several implications on the regional security. President Obama said, “US consider India as a cornerstone in US engagement in Asia.” The rise of China as a world power has threatened US interest in Asia, and the president attempts to make a strong alliance with the countries in the region. Asia is becoming the area of new international revelries.
China has achieved an unprecedented growth during last few decades. China recently replaced Japan as the second largest economy in the world. When many western countries are facing economic downturn, China is still maintaining a considerable economic growth. At this rate China can become the number one economic power in the world earlier than predicted challenging the US position. United States attempts to counter the Chinese threat.
India is a best option for US to counter weight the growing Chinese power. India is the largest democracy in the world and is bordering China. India also considers China as a potential threat to the Indian interest. In addition, there are several unresolved issued between China and India. So India is a natural choice for building a strategic partnership for US.
However, Indian policy maker should carefully analyze their strategic partnership with US. If India tilts toward US, China will naturally move toward Pakistan, Indian traditional rivalry. US is already planning to leave Afghanistan, and importance of Pakistan for US policy is likely to diminish. US will abandon Pakistan as a strategic partner as they did after the withdrawal of soviet troops from Afghanistan. Pakistan is likely to tilt toward China to balance perceived Indian threat. Indian policy maker should consider the border implication of their strategic alliance with US.
As the Prime Minister Monmohan Singh has said,” Indian should not tilt toward anyone and follow the Indian interest.” It is a valuable remark of a matured Indian political leadership. India has seen how United States and western countries use small countries as scapegoat for their interest in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. So tilting toward one power is dangerous. India as an emerging power should navigate in the rocky water carefully without tilting toward any single power.
As an emerging global power, India should follow a neutral and non- alliance approach as they did during the cold war period. India must directly engage with China and resole the bilateral issues rather than attempting to solve them through involvement of another super power. Inviting extra regional power to the region to solve regional issues complicates security in the region. During his visit to Asia, President Obama tries to build a strategic partnership with India as a counter weight to growing Chinese power. India’s response to Obama’s carrot has several implications on the regional security.