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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.
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?