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Hanzala Aman

China: The Greatest Threat to India

In a bid to “Make America Again” President Donald Trump has gone totally berserk and in turn, has made his many decisions detrimental to the United States. A new global order is emerging which America is keen to lead but sadly for America, it has threatened its own position. It’d be so soon to say that America is losing its leadership but in the long run, it definitely is. The recklessness of Trump is not only going to cost America its future but also other power blocks like Canada, Europe, United Kingdom and India. Greatest winner emerging from the changes in geopolitics is none other than China and thus future of India seems bleaker than ever.

The latest addition in the series of American theatrics are side-lining their G7 partners and withdrawing from the Human Rights Council. Observing closely, G7 should have been obsolete by now as there are bigger economies outside the club than many of its member states. China and India have emerged greater economies than Italy and Canada. But, by imposing tariffs on Canada and European imports, United States is pushing its allies towards China which is a very big market. Coming to the matter of Human Right Council, the gap between US and EU have further widened. Not that US deserves to be in the HRC – as it has a history of siding with the despotic regimes including its two greatest allies in the middle-east i.e. Israel and Saudi Arabia- European Union seems to be losing its say in the global leadership. Thus, European Union has another reason to side with the emerging powers.

When it comes to the preferred business location for the west, China clearly beats India. China is the second largest trading partner (14.8%) for Europe next to US (17.5%) and India comes at the 9th position (2.2%). Citing the current conditions, China is expected to only increase the trade with Europe. After the Brexit referendum, United Kingdom wanted to increase trade with India which would have only favoured the British interest. Indian PM Narendra Modi also had demands like increasing the Visa to Indian students and workers, which surprised his British counterpart Theresa May, who had perhaps not expected that from the former colony. Recent relaxation in Tier 4 visa rule included China but not India. With the matter of trade with Canada, the Indian government has pushed away a great trading partner by turning hostile to the country and its leadership. Turkey too seems to be increasing its trade with China because of its worsening relation with the United States and European Union. If Erdogan wins the presidential elections which would give him much more power than before, he might try to exact the revenge with the west – which he holds responsible for the failed coup. The Indian government has been unable to secure any good deal with the Turkey which China easily does. Besides, much has been said about the economic threat posed by China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In the past few decades, China has been highly successful with the Agricultural and Food security. In coming decades, it will have lesser population than India. It has also emerged as one of most preferred research hub of the world in which India is nowhere in the line.

When it comes to military prowess, China is already one of the leading nations. In recent years, it has increased its military presence in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which includes the Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan. Between 2007 and 2016, military spending in China was increased by 118 per cent. It has also gone on to become the largest spender in Asia and Oceania. Chinese President Xi Jinping has been pushing the military for a great many things like ‘basic mechanisation’ by 2020, ‘complete modernisation’ by 2035 and preparing ‘world-class military’ by 2050. On the other hand, the Indian government is reportedly looking for ways to decreasing its military expenditure. Last year, China successfully carried two tests of hypersonic glide vehicle or HGV, known as the DF-17 which can easily target its biggest rival i.e. US, India and Japan. China has also provided huge loans to Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Pakistan – countries neighbouring India- which to India’s disadvantage could become a security nightmare. China is on the verge of successfully completing the militarization of South China Sea. The United States has tried in vain to stop China from building an artificial island and from the militarization of the South China Sea, citing Freedom of Navigation. About half of India’s maritime trade passes through the Malacca Straits which is in the South China Sea and a total trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) value more than $71 billion. Along with the other parts of the BRI, South China Sea poses a very great threat to Indian economy and security.

Considering all the above factors and more, it seems clear that the greatest threat to India is none other than China. Realigning with the other countries is a necessary approach in containing the Chinese effort. To secure itself, India must lead the opposition to China by consolidating the support of many ASEAN countries who have veer bullied into silence by China. Development of the Chabahar port will definitely put a very great role in this regard.

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between United States, Japan, Australia and India must be very aggressive.


Hanzala Aman is a columnist writing for HW News Network.  The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of HW News Network or any employee thereof. HW News Network makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.

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