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India should rethink policy in emerging Cold War

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By Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen and Mohanasakthivel

In the wake of recent Chinese aggression in the disputed Himalayan border running along the Ladakh area of Kashmir, the debate about India aligning with the United States has resurfaced once again. One of the central questions to India's China threat is how it should respond in an emerging new Cold War where the United States and China are at loggerheads.

In this globalized and interdependent world, "evasive balancing" is one strategy which can be pursued by countries such as India, Japan, France, and Australia. Countries tend to exhibit balancing or bandwagon behavior when there is an existential threat.

The current framework established to balance China is the formation of a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (known as Quad) in the Indo-Pacific region. But this carries an innate limitation, as the former Indian National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon pointed out in May this year that "Indo-Pacific is not the answer to India's continental security issues, of which there are many, and which are not shared by any of the other members of the Quad."

The other frameworks such as Japan-America-India (JAI) or India-France-Australia, as suggested by French President Emmanuel Macron, are oriented toward Indo-Pacific and they share the same maritime limitation. In order to have a holistic strategy, it must include both the Indo-Pacific and Eurasian constructs.

It is pertinent for India to have a Eurasian strategy and not inordinately focus on the Indo-Pacific because China can project power effectively in the Indo-Pacific if it consolidates its position in Eurasia.

Based on the premise of a holistic strategy, if India has to form a trilateral initiative along with Japan and France, then it must not solely focus on the flexibility factor alone.

Rather, it must strive to........

© The Korea Times