As pointed out by Michael Levine in his book titled China and Russia vs. the United States: The Great Clash , there is a possibility of a clash between two aging superpowers and one emerging superpower. Russia and US have now become sabre toothed tigers from prehistoric times that still roam the jungle but without any of the aura or the fear that they would project say sixty years ago. Instead, it has been the Dragon that seems to have been rising ever since the turn of the century which ironically was the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese calendar.
China has become a major player in the global economy as well as a very important part of the world politics stage. Traditionally, it has been one of the strongest influencers in South East Asia but in the recent years, its economic boom has won it a lot more friends abroad. No one needs statistics to prove that their development is at a much faster rate than any other country’s. With Forex reserves of over three billion, it is no wonder that the US is beginning to take serious notice of them.
This will prove to be a comprehensive and intriguing battle which might just be affected by India’s decision to pick sides. Unless, of course, we decide to adopt NAM all over again, which might just prove to be a costly mistake. It is the outcome of this battle that will help us in our bid to be a superpower and now that the chance seems to have arrived, we should grab it with both hands and make a killing.
This brings us to the most important question: whom do we support? If you looked carefully at the equation, I have no doubt most of us would not hesitate in throwing our weight behind The Russkies and The Chinese. With Anti-US feelings at an all time high ever since Iraq and the collapse of the nuclear deal (even with President Bush’s recent comments about food shortage), the Left would be thrilled to join their mentors and fight their old enemy: capitalism. And how could we lose? After all, India is also among the top most developing nations right now. Given our vast human resources and talent, we still have a very important part to play in the global economy.
However, even if the US does manage to back down from this clash without military use, there will be two triumphant to-be superpowers neighbouring each other. This would lead to eyeball to eyeball clashes over the already porous and controversial border lines that have been sketched out in the north-east as well as Kashmir. China does regard us as a major threat to their influence in South Asia and rightly so. We are a force to reckon with. But, given the vast resources China possess, and our hostile neighbours to the west, we may just be biting off more than we can chew. With no US to remind them of the stick, Pakistan might just grab the carrot and create problems for us with the blessings of the Chinese. And for all our good relations with Russia, let us face it folks – they are not going to get involved in a war they know they do not have the slightest chance of winning.
So, do we support Uncle Sam? The answer is an emphatic no. America without doubt is in its worst ever crisis. With its economy on a steep decline thanks to the sub prime crisis, even the advent of war with an oil producing state had not been able to prop it up. Recent confrontations with Venezuela, Iran and North Korea have led it to public embarrassment and loss of face and prestige. The holy land of freedom and opportunity no longer beckons our masses for they have been reduced to our plight now. Plagued by terrorism, a word that seems to govern their economy and policies, they have become mere mortals, no longer worshipped as the gods of the western worlds.
If we support them, there is a chance that we may end up on the losing side – and with China breathing down our necks, we cannot afford to be held up in our march towards being as big a global player as China. So, what do we do then? The best possible solution is to wait. Let the battle unfold, the battle lines be drawn before we decide how to play. We are too big a threat for either side to be ignored for long. There is little doubt in my mind that we will not be approached by both sides holding out olive branches and trying to woo us into their fold. The US might offer to re-negotiate the nuclear deal while China might offer to open up its economy and supply us with arms. Maybe they would rein in the influence they have with Pakistan. But, we must think carefully before committing to either side. One slip and it will be a long arduous journey to the point that we have reached in our sixty-one years of independence. We must be united in the decision we make. For the whole world will be waiting and watching, ready to accept the new superpowers. And the time is now for us to stand up and be counted.
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tedkuo/2261828989/]