Daily Editorial Analysis for 7th June 2021

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Editorial Analysis June 2021
  4. »
  5. Daily Editorial Analysis for 7th June 2021

US-India ties to take on China

China as emerging power of the World

  • The rise of China as a major economy and military power has been a major development in the 21st century.
  • While China’s economic clout is being felt across all the regions of the world, it has also been aggressively pursuing its military modernization programme.
  • Though China has been projecting its ascent as a “peaceful rise”, the truth is that Beijing has begun to redefine the prevailing power structure in its favour in Asia, leading sections of international relations experts to argue that the rise of China must be seen in the historical context of the rise and fall of great powers.

US-China recent ties

  • Unfortunately, for a long time in the post-Cold War era, the US too had the illusion of China’s “peaceful rise”.
  • While it was only after the coming of President George W Bush to power that the US began to view China as a major strategic competitor.
  • The US under Donald Trump launched a trade war against China and also initiated efforts to strengthen the relationship with its allies and partners under the overarching umbrella of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) Strategy with the aim of having the “sole superpower status” in the region.
  • Of course, the change in the approach of the US towards China has been driven by several factors, including China’s increasing control over the South China region, improved ties between Beijing and Moscow, the Chinese Communist Government’s support to Iran and North Korea, its aim to become a major space power and China’s increased threat to Taiwan, besides its attempt to subvert the liberal international institutions. C
  • Consequently, these moves by China, coupled with an increasing trade surplus with the US, have directly challenged America’s eminent position in Asia and beyond.
  • But there is now a growing sentiment among the US security officials and experts that, given its economic conditions as well as its security commitments in the Middle East and elsewhere, it is not possible for the US alone to ensure peace and security in the region and thereby to contain China’s assertive posturing.
  • At the same time, there is also an emerging understanding among the strategic circles in Washington that the US’ unilateral actions against China could not garner much support from other regional powers as they are aiming to promote a multi-polar world order in the Indo-Pacific.
  • It is in this context that successive US Presidents since George W Bush have deliberately invested in transforming ties with the rising powers, like India, so that a strong and unchallenged balance of power can be developed against China.
  • Thus, the Trump Administration placed India at the centre of the FOIP strategy. India has also explicitly indicated its desire to work with the US to promote security, openness, democracy and development in the region.
  • In turn, India and the US have taken a slew of measures, including the signing of the Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement to transform their security and defence relations to new heights.
  • The Biden Administration has also indicated towards continuing his predecessor’s Indo-Pacific strategy.

India-US together against China

  • Undoubtedly, there are structural and practical factors bringing India and the US together against China.
  • For the US, a rising India, conditioned by democratic values, the idea of freedom and the principle of coexistence, is not seen as a threat to its leadership position in Asia.
  • In fact, given the size of India’s territory, population, economy, military, geographical proximity and historical border dispute with China and its desire to emerge as a global player, Washington views New Delhi as the most suitable balancer against Beijing.
  • India’s “Act East Policy” has also been viewed in conformity with the US’ strategy towards the Indo-Pacific.
  • India’s open willingness to work with the US in recent times has been an encouraging development for the American administration.
  • For India, the relationship with China has largely remained fragile and tense and Xi Jinping’s recent assertive posturing on the contested border issue has only intensified its security concerns.
  • China’s support to Pakistan against India and Beijing’s efforts to foster a new nexus among China, Pakistan and Russia, as well as to develop a “String of Pearls” against India through the Belt and Road Initiative and other means have further posed multilayered challenges to India.
  • Therefore, India needs to build a strong and robust partnership with the US to effectively contain China.
  • India thinks that the presence of the US in South Asia will help maintain a balance of power in its favour.
  • Without gaining access to US’ advanced weaponry and technology, India cannot modernize its military and the US’ changed policy towards Pakistan has also emboldened India to make close engagement with America.


  • While it becomes aptly clear that the current phase of the triangular relationship is tilted towards India and the US, its future direction largely depends on Biden’s China policy.

Current Affairs

Recent Posts