The ‘Quad’ alliance

Xi Jinping’s China must thank herself for having India, Japan, US and Australia arrayed against her in a Quadrilateral agreement. If India totally abandons her age-old foreign policy of not aligning with any major Power and finds herself aligning every more closely with the United States, the credit for such a development should also go to China. Beijing wanted to encircle India with her ‘string of pearls’ policy. It is now boomeranging on itself. India is busy forging an alliance with her East Asian neighbours to counter the growing menace of Chinese militarism and expansionism and for protecting the freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean Region (now being renamed by Washington as ‘Indo-Pacific Region). The participation of the United States and Australia in this endeavour will only isolate China even more.
It is granted that militarily China is far stronger than India. But the hard reality is that the Indian Navy, even with its present strength, can successfully block the passage of any Chinese naval vessel, military or commercial, through the straits of Malacca and Hormuz. India has already deployed about a hundred ships in the Indian Ocean region. It will be very hard for China to mount a successful counter-offensive against the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean which is India’s home turf. In fact the only dependable allies of China left in Asia are Pakistan and Kim Jong-un’s North Korea. When the Quadrilateral idea takes actual shape and the four countries start acting in concert, they are expected to win more allies – those who are feeling threatened by the rise of an aggressive China.
In another five years, the Indian Navy will be a formidable force with two, possibly three, aircraft carriers, half a dozen or so nuclear submarines along with the diesel-electric subs, destroyers and anti-submarine corvettes. Prowling in the Indian Ocean without being detected by the Indian Navy will be very difficult for any country. In the emerging scenario, it is doubtful if China will have even Nepal on its side. Except Pakistan and North Korea, China may not have any other friend in Asia which it can rely on. By alienating and antagonizing India, the present rulers of China have only succeeded in turning a potential friend into an adversary. In the last century, Adolf Hitler dreamed of Germany dominating the world and his Reich lasting a thousand years. What he brought on himself and on his Germany is history. If Xi Jinping and his cohorts are dreaming of world domination, the end will not be much different for them.

Tuesday, 14 November, 2017