As US-China tensions escalate over a wide range of issues covering almost every realm, some are predicting that the world’s two largest economies are about to enter a new Cold War. At this juncture, India needs to be careful about being involved in the US-China rivalry.
With nationalist sentiment on the rise in India, there have been some voices calling for the Indian government to join the new Cold War and exploit its position for more gains. Such irrational voices are nothing but misleading, which should not represent the mainstream voices and sway the Indian government’s stance. Fundamentally speaking, India has little to gain from engaging in a US-China conflict over any topic, with more to lose than gain, which is why the Modi government needs to face the new geopolitical development objectively and rationally.
Under the current circumstance, India needs to be careful not to include the US factor in its handling of any problem in its relations with China, otherwise it will only complicate the issue. The same is true of the recent China-India border tension, and the offer of US mediation is unnecessary and the last thing both sides could use. China and India have the ability to resolve their problems, and there is no need for any third-party intervention.
If in a new Cold War, India leans toward the US or becomes a US pawn attacking China, the economic and trade ties between the two Asian neighbors will suffer a devastating blow. And it would be too much for the Indian economy to take such a hit at the current stage.
Over the weekend, the Indian government just announced to lift the national lockdown measures by allowing malls, restaurants and places of worship in some places to open from June 8. The move comes at a time when its strict restrictions haven’t flattened its curve of coronavirus infections. The total number of COVID-19 cases in India surpassed the 180,000-mark on Sunday. Still, the end to lockdown is understandable, as its economy has been under enormous strain from the lockdown, with its worst recession forecast for the second quarter by Goldman Sachs. Ultimately, the crippling Indian economy cannot afford any more shocks.
China’s tone of maintaining a cooperative relationship with India hasn’t changed, so they are still willing to offer support to India’s lockdown lifting by strengthening bilateral cooperation to help its economic recovery and deepening bilateral trade ties during the process. China doesn’t want to see a situation where politics leads to economic repercussions, so the Indian government is advised to always view the India-China relations with rational minds instead of being lured by domestic nationalist sentiment.