The horizon for India beyond the G-20, SCO summits
India’s year-long presidency of the G-20, and leadership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), should not blind us to the persisting challenges the nation faces, due to a concatenation of circumstances.
Two camps and distrust
- Global conflict: The world may not, as yet, be on the brink of a global conflict, but it is perilously close to it. There exists strong distrust between the two camps led by the United States and China/Russia, respectively.
- Little scope to manoeuvre: There exists little scope for countries such as India any room for manoeuvre as they have not declared their allegiance to either camp.
- Demonstrating weaponry: USA and its allies are in a position to provide Ukraine with an arsenal of the most sophisticated weaponry available. Meanwhile, Russia is also clandestinely receiving equipment and material from its allies.
The issues for India begin with China
- Aggressive China: China is displaying its naval prowess in the seas around much of East and Southeast Asia, and a flexing of its military muscle in the Ladakh and Arunachal sectors of the Sino-Indian border.
- China’s efforts to checkmate India: China is launching several other regional initiatives to checkmate India in the Indian Ocean region.
- China’s efforts to restrict India’s influence: China is also actively engaged in seeking new friends in India’s extended neighbourhood, in a bid to limit India’s influence in this region.