I really like this diplomatic relations stuff. As a layman, I can understand a lot of things in a very simple manner, like the recent sale of 50 JF17 fighter jets from China to Pakistan. This works out well for China – they have a market for their weapons as long as they show their support for Pakistan against Pakistans permanent #1 enemy, India.
It works out just Ok for Pakistan however, because their country is in total shambles but they think they need to have weapons to go against India and they think they can depend on China for support incase of an altercation.
But they don’t care, their main aim is India. They are just Indophobic to a seriously mental level and China is absolutely playing them because they need a market for their goods.
China is beginning to irritate India slowly, but they won’t do anything because their economy is booming and why should they ruin that? I respect the defense ministry for being alarmed but not going overboard and splurging like nutcases on new weapons. The recently concluded MMRCA deal was just to upgrade our fighters, because the old Soviet era ones were..old and from the Soviet era.
If the Defense Ministry had gone ballistic over China’s incursions into Arunachal and their build up in Tibet and all along the border, then it would have slowed down our economy in the long run – the same thing that happened to Pakistan over 2 decades, because of their India paranoia.
So yeah, better to be prepared for war, not behave as if war is going to happen tomorrow.
Anyway, China just simply excels at playing mindgames. They have larger interests though – they just loaned a crapload of money to the Jaitapur Nuclear plant, and I think the extended sea link here in Mumbai is financed by the Bank of China. So there’s no way they’re going to ruin all that $$ and do some nonsense.
But I still don’t feel our foreign policy is up to scratch, you know? We can’t keep “not punching” anymore. We have to punch above our weight and reap the rewards. India is now a formidable power, not a superpower, but very strong.
So our foreign policy must be changed to suit that. The US has a bunch of nations it can call its allies – its closest friends. Like Britain, with which it has a special relationship, or Japan.
I think it’s time India went all out to make friends across the world and not bother about minor things like geography, because our neighborhood isn’t very friendly.
For example, we need to up our economic relationship with Germany because they’re the best country in mainland Europe. They’re masters of industry. Similarly, we need to improve our economic relationship with South America as a whole, and Brazil in particular.
Not improve as in set up huge factories and mine the fucking hell out of those countries (like China does in Africa), but improve as in improve trade. Give them something they want, get something we want from them.
We also need to increase our soft-power there – the more recognizable and liked Indians are, the more open people will be to be friends with India. China has tremendous soft power – there’s a Chinatown in almost every major city in the United States and Chinese restaurants in even small towns.
We also need to get out there and represent/support the smaller and economically underrepresented countries in the world – like the Pacific nations. Not for anything else but goodwill. Goodwill works wonders.
We need to actively improve our economic and political and military relationships with Australia, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, Germany and Israel.
Why those countries? They’re not all strategically important but it will work if we were close to them. It’s a win-win.
We were historically close to Russia because of the Cold War and they saved our asses from being attacked by the US many times by vetoing American-led resolutions in the UN Security council throughout the Cold War.
I don’t think this special relationship should be ignored at all because it’s already established and it’s very tough to get a relationship like that on the international level. Russia has oodles of natural gas and other fuels which we can buy from them. They have the know how to build weapons, aircraft, ships and missiles. If we got them into a deal (like Admiral Gorkshkov, but better), then it would work out mostly well. They’re getting money, we’re getting weapons.
Ditto with Israel, only there’s actual emotions involved. They’re in a similar situation : surrounded by unfriendlies. They can understand. India needs to learn a lot from Israel, so getting involved on the military level is absolutely recommended.
India has also historically supported the existence of Palestine, so any overtures towards Israel will invoke the unwarranted wrath of Islamic hardliners who’re already pissing their balls that India is “abusing” Kashmiris.
So this is a big mess, basically. It’s really cool if we can have big time intelligence cooperation ( I think this definitely is there ). But yeah, being pally-pally with Israel is just supercool for us AND them.
South Korea and Japan (and possibly Taiwan) are developed economies with no extra sources of income. India is a developing economy ready to spend lots of money to get what it wants. One reason why any type of relationship with those 3 countries must absolutely be improved is because of the returns for India.
Though its not possible without delicate handling and tremendous foresight, I have a naive example of what could be done :
Imagine we have a special economic zone for Japan and South Korea to make electronic stuff. They employ Indians. They keep the returns from whatever electronic stuff they sell within and outside India. But they have to employ Indians and pay them salaries similar to what Japanese and South Koreans would be paid, or proportionally.
I wonder how that would work out.
In return, we get higher employment and a higher GDP and cheaper electronic stuff. Japan gets to keep the profits. But they’re not purely profit oriented – they’ll want to provide employment to Japanese too. Sooo I’m not sure how this work out.
Ditto to Australia. I mean, I don’t know. India is kind of a peacenik and very introverted in the global sphere. Sure we’re going overboard in trying to get friends to vote for them in the UN P-5 Expansion, but if we had already made friends 2 decades back, this would be wholly unnecessary.
My personal opinion (which this whole blog post was supposed to be about) is that India just doesn’t have enough friends in the world. No one can survive without friends. Friends are not made permanently in the diplomatic sphere. Consider USA-Egypt. They supported democracy, but ignored Mubarak till the revolution there. Then after the revolution, they bayed for his head.
The US will never abandon Israel because it’s ego is too big. It will never abandon England because of their similarities and mutual problems.
I think India needs friends like that, and I would start with Japan and South Korea and all the South American countries.
Any thoughts on this boring topic?