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Thursday, 12 May 2016

India’s pro-US realignment a threat to Russia, China, BRICS, SE Asia

The Ugly TRUTH

israel and india 2

SOTT – Indian Prime Minister Modi’s realignment of India with the US threatens to shatter BRICS unity reversing the course away from the US-led unipolar world.

In an earlier article I discussed India’s recent moves and how these threaten to realign India with the US against China and Russia. In this article I will discuss the background to this and the strategic implications and how these developments threaten the development of the multipolar order that is challenging US global power.

The Chinese-Indian Cold War

South East Asia

Prime Minister Modi’s moves over the last month exacerbate an already existing low-intensity Chinese-Indian Cold War. The main focus of Chinese-Indian competition at the present time is in south east Asia.

India plans to ramp up its commercial ties with the mainland members of ASEAN – often referred to as “the Mekong River states” – by cooperating with them to build the Trilateral Highway through Myanmar and Thailand. Part of this project links up to the Japanese East-West corridor at the Myanmar port city of Mawlamyine, connecting India to northern Thailand, southern Laos, and central Vietnam.

This map shows the crisscrossing infrastructure corridors that are planned for the Greater Mekong Subregion. India’s Trilateral Highway – labelled the Western Corridor – is coloured purple. Japan’s East-Corridor is coloured turquoise. It is not a coincidence that these trade networks are expected to interlink with each other. India and Japan are the US’s two most important Asian allies in “containing” China. From a US perspective, it makes sense for India and China[Japan] to pool their resources in the ASEAN theatre.

On the naval front, as I discussed in my previous article, India is slated to become one of the out-of-region forces active in the South China Sea alongside Japan, the US, and Australia in the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue”.

Himalayan Push

The other main theatre of Chinese-Indian competition is the Himalayas, particularly Kashmir, Nepal and Arunachal Pradesh.

Kashmir

Since 1948 Kashmir has been divided into Pakistani and Indian-administered zones. As I discussed in my previous article, India is objecting to China’s plans to build the Chinese Pakistani Economic Corridor through the Pakistani-administered zone.

In a conversation with Pakistani analyst and GPolit contributor Tayyab Baloch, I was told of Pakistani fears that India might exploit the Logistic Support Agreement to obtain the deployment of US troops to Indian-controlled Kashmir. This would be seen as very threatening by Pakistan and might even facilitate the infiltration of Uighur and Tibetan terrorists into nearby China.

Though deploying US troops to this bitterly contested region would be extremely destabilising and controversial, India might be tempted to “justify” it by citing China’s refusal to stop construction of the Chinese Pakistani Economic Corridor through Pakistani-controlled Kashmir and by China’s continued occupation of the Indian-claimed territory of Aksai Chin.

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