July 10, 2017
India-China Relations: Give Diplomacy A Chance
By Dr. Sawraj Singh
Tension between India and China is rising to a dangerous level and a military confrontation has become a real possibility. Such a conflict can prove catastrophic not only for this region but can also escalate to a Third World War. Unfortunately, Asia and the Indian Subcontinent can become an arena for the most dangerous and destructive Third World War. Before upping the ante we should also think of the most dangerous consequences which our actions can lead to. I feel that both sides are not taking this as seriously as they should. India and China are the largest countries of Asia and they have a moral responsibility to try to prevent Asia becoming arena for the Third World War.
Prime Minister Modi’s visit to America and Israel and President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia show that the world is getting polarized and new alliances are emerging in the world. On one side America- Israel-India alliance and on the other side Russia-China –Germany alliance may emerge. The differences between America and Germany are growing and it has become a real possibility that Germany, the biggest economic power of Europe can switch sides like Turkey and join Russia to make Europe a rival of America rather than its biggest ally. If Europe switches sides then the emerging America-Israel-India can be perceived as an anti Russia anti China and anti Islamic alliance; Because Europe was always perceived as tilting toward the Palestinians (Muslims) and soft on Russia while America was seen as solidly backing Israel and vehemently anti Russia. If Europe leaves America then it will become very difficult for any Islamic country to be seen in the American camp and russia will see this alliance as anti Russia alliance.
Such a polarization of the world sets a stage for a quick escalation of India-China conflict to a Third World War. Unfortunately, Russia, the closest and the most time tested friend of India may be forced to take the opposite side. Similarly the perception of an alliance of America, Israel and India can force the Islamic countries to take the opposite side. We can already see that Iran which was at one time a close friend of India has now started to equate the situation in Kashmir to the situation in Palestine. It is not in India’s interest to be perceived as a part of an anti Russia, anti China and anti Islamic alliance. I feel that China does not want to be dragged in a world war. Such a war will go against the policy of focusing on the economic development and developing China’s internal market. This has been the crux of China’s policy in the last three decades.
A military conflict is in nobody’s interest. Therefore, both sides should try everything to find a diplomatic and a political solution before resorting to a military confrontation. India should also try to get Russia involved in finding an amicable solution because Russia has good relations with India and China. India and China in spite of the differences have many common goals. Both the countries can only get the status they deserve in a multi-polar world rather than in the present western dominated unipolar world. Let us concentrate on our commonalities rather than our differences and give peace a chance.
Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.