Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The China angle

There is more to US President George W Bush's visit to India than what meets the eye.
It's not just the civilian nuclear deal, nor is it the "so called" friendship that the political pundits talk about. According to leading Bangladesh daily Daily Star, "The US is a South Asian player to secure its own geopolitical ends. As the lone superpower, it must ensure its status against all challengers, real or potential".

As of now, it looks as if the US wants to contain China's grip over the global scenario and it is for this reason that Uncle Sam is keen to engage India. "The US is keen to build India as a counterbalance to China and as a country playing on Washington's behalf the role of a sheriff in the region," Pakistan daily The Nation says. "For the US, India is the only country that can contain China's power in the Asia pacific region. The US needs India, a democratic country that stands at the centre of the Indian Ocean," Bangladesh paper Daily Star says. A country with over a billion plus population, China stands to be a major power force in Asia.

According to reports, China's military build-up has changed the military balance in Asia, and could present a challenge to the US military position in the region. And it is just not US that is worried about growing Chinese power. India too "realises that it cannot achieve the status of a regional power comparable to that of China without American cooperation," the Daily Times says.

(Written for Hindustan Times prior to George Bush's India visit in 2006)

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