How to Solve the China Problem? Look Towards India


Like many Ricochet members, I’m just back from the National Review cruise. One of the hot topics of the week — along with the 2014 elections, the 2016 race, and President Obama’s immigration order — was what to do about China.

Here is one positive step we could take. Let’s start containing the rise of China by entering into an alliance with India. It’s the world’s largest democracy and is steadily opening its economy to the free market. It has the land power to check China and is gradually improving its air and sea forces. It makes just as much sense — perhaps even more — as Nixon’s opening to China to balance the U.S.S.R. in the Cold War.

As I note with Riddhi Dasgupta at Fortune:

Faced with an authoritarian, expansionist China and a revanchist Russia, it is in both American and Indian interests to strike an alliance. Russia’s Ukrainian incursion and China’s aggressive moves along the India-China border and in the South China Sea should encourage cooperation between the U.S. and India. Indeed, American and Indian interests coincide far more than those of the United States and China. The United States and India both aim to maintain democracy worldwide, preserve a stable international order, peacefully resolve militaristic and trade issues attending the South China Sea, and promote economic growth through free markets. Meanwhile, China defends authoritarianism, seeks to maintain the role of state-owned enterprises, and may be destabilizing Asia in its quest to reassert its claims against its neighbors.

What do you think? Is it time to tighten U.S.-Indian relations?

There are 4 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. EThompson Inactive

    This is a highly complex issue beyond the “pay grade” of most Americans except for the one we failed to elect for President in 2012 who understood the political and economic ramifications of currency manipulation.

    • #1
  2. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans

    It seems like this alliance is well under way. Modi had a good visit to the US a couple of months ago and talked up what he sees as the new India economic boom. They speak English, they have a democracy. This could be good.

    • #2
  3. SPare Member

    Full-on alliance with India is one of the smartest foreign policy advances that we could make.  It would not, however, be easy to do.  Despite a few areas of cultural alignment, there is still (to my understanding) a strong current of thought within popular opinion in India that is reflexively anti-American.  There is the likely impact of relations with Pakistan, which, though already strained, would be broken irrevocably from such a move.  It would mean acquiescing to their nuclear weapons program (there are still sanctions in place that limit exports for their nuclear energy program).

    However, those are all tactical problems to be overcome, and the strategic impact of gaining a counter-weight to China would be immense.

    • #3
  4. user_5186 Inactive

    I fully agree, John. This should be moved to the front burner as soon as there is an adult running things again. SPare’s points are all good ones but we don’t have much choice. This will become more evident as Pakistan continues to implode. Pakistan is lost to us largely — especially since Abbottabad — it just takes time for people to realize it. There are many good people in Pakistan but time is running out and the ones there who we want to save and help should consider moving to India if things go crazy.

    So, these two reasons of Islamism and helping to temper the belligerence in China are sufficient unto themselves — but there are other advantages, too. The issue of anti-Americanism is not very deep, really. I have been in India many times and especially Kerala (home of honest to goodness Marxists and the population is about 1/3 Muslim) and have had interesting exchanges with Muslims and it’s clear to me that there is much more pro-Americanism that springs from good civilization building impulses than there is anti-Americanism from the reflexive Islamism boosting.

    • #4

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.