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India, China and Russia: The Game Of Thrones Continues

India is not lacking for suitors these days. At the same time it was announced that Russia is preparing to develop a hypersonic cruise missile with India, China’s courtship of the emerging power was in full view at this week’s BRICS meeting in the Indian capital. Perturbed by the success of Obama’s “pivot” to Asia and the eagerness of many of its neighbors to accept a stronger US presence, Beijing is seeking to deepen ties with India. After Chinese President Hu Jintao met with India’s Prime Minister in New Delhi on Thursday, The Hindu reported that:

China on Friday said it welcomed commitments made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during talks on Thursday that India would neither participate in any “containment strategy” aimed at China nor allow anti-China activities by exiled Tibetans.

In a reflection of what Beijing views as among the two more delicate issues facing the bilateral relationship with New Delhi – India’s ties with the U.S. and Tibet – the Chinese Foreign Ministry highlighted Dr. Singh’s comments as suggesting an increase in political trust between the neighbours.

These words were mostly empty on both sides and nothing concrete appears to have emerged from these discussions. Nevertheless, arms talks with Russia and the political dialog with China underline India’s role as a major player in the Game of Thrones. Few nations will shape the direction of the 21st century more than India and few geopolitical relationships matter more than the one between the two Asian giants, but Americans by and large know almost nothing about India or about the dynamics that shape its relations with China — and the US.

Via Meadia recommendation: watch India closely. Hopefully in time the mainstream press will catch up to new realities and shift its attention from other less important places in the world to places like Delhi where the future is being made. In the meantime, Via Meadia will do what we can to keep readers posted on the Game of Thrones.

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  • Jimmy Chacko

    I completely agree the focus on Brussels and the EU’s soverign debt crises is relevent only as cautionary tale. The writings on the wall, their best case outcome is managed decline. India presents the use with the greatest opportunity for a lasting partnership in Asia built on common values. But obviously not everyone in India is in favor joining the anglosphere axises its up to the next president to continue the one positive trend of the Bush/Obama years.

  • Anthony

    “…few geopolitical relationships matter more than the one between the two Asian giants….” Northeast and Southeast Asia are becoming 21st century regions with interests developing beyond region (new world realities as well as shifting dynamics).

  • Kris

    “Via Meadia recommendation: watch India closely.”

    What?! That’s your job!

  • thibaud

    One of the best suggestions yet to emerge from Via Meadia.

    I’m a dyed-in-the-wool europhile, but the truth is that India is now more important to us than Britain or the EU.

    We should be moving thousands of diplomats, military and economic experts from Europe to Asia, with a large percentage of them going to India.

    I suspect that the reorientation that Mr. Meade wishes for will come about only when the Indian diaspora in the US begins to encourage its children to enter politics. It will probably take a generation.

    Perhaps it would help if we had a kind of 21st century version of the Rhodes Scholarships, with 20-30 Indian high achievers/future leaders annually arriving at Harvard and Stanford for two year stints in which they’d develop their appreciation of the US and create deep, lasting ties to the US establishment.

  • Bart Hall (Kansas, USA)

    One of Bush 43’s great achievements was in beginning to build an alliance with India. Follow-up from the Obama administration, however, has been almost non-existent.

    We’ve missed a good opportunity that would have cost us next to nothing — to make a gift of our last conventional aircraft carrier, the ‘Kitty Hawk’, which the Indians would quite competently re-habbed to continue growing their blue-water navy during the transition to indigenous 60,000 tonne carriers, the first of which is due to enter service within a decade.

    The first indigenous carrier is to be INS ‘Vikrant’ due to enter service in about five years, but it is a 40,000 tonne bottom.

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