The Summit for Democracy was a product of complex U.S. realpolitik – one which seems to have conflated the goals of subduing China and espousing democracy. But if America truly wants to contain Chinese influence, couching its foreign policy in terms of democracy will prove counterproductive.
Posts published in “Foreign Affairs”
India has risen from uncertainty and insecurity to become a nuclear power with a booming economy and a powerful military. Indians have settled and thrived everywhere. Yet, India remains an underwhelming power on the world stage. Freedom Gazette now sets itself in pursuit of India’s destiny as a responsible force for global good.
Buddhism is becoming a front in the rivalry between India and China. To neglect a religious community that has pan-Asian as well as global soft power appeal will be an ill-advised step for India. India must foster a socially and economically mobile Buddhist community through intelligent investment.
India has a long-standing policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. However, America's withdrawal and the Taliban's takeover have brought significant challenges for India. India now needs to make some tough decisions to protect its economic and security interests in the country.
India's foreign policy outlook is visibly schizophrenic, stuck in a dilemma between militarism and moralism. While the 1998 nuclear tests were supposed to signal a newfound self-confidence, India has been unable to deter China. Today, India has no alternative to constant military modernisation.
From a haphazardly unplanned vaccine diplomacy drive to undiplomatic public letters, India's foreign policy has prioritised image over substance. Without substance and efficient and effective delivery of services, such measures are simply perceived by the outside world as empty, self-promoting bluster.
Till the 1990s, India’s stance towards Myanmar prioritised democratic values, which ran counter to the junta. Several strategic considerations forced India to change. But India’s pale response to the recent coup is not only morally bankrupt; it is also short-sighted, in view of India’s own strategic goals.
As of 9 March 2021, India has supplied about 60 million doses of vaccine globally. On the other hand, China has supplied only about 12-15 million overseas. And deeper analysis of India's supply of vaccines to different countries shows that New Delhi has been using its vaccine diplomacy very strategically.
China and Russia have long exercised outsized influence over Mongolian affairs. But under Mongolia's 'third neighbour' policy, India has an opportunity to help Mongolia balance China. In return, India will gain crucial access to Mongolian energy reserves and leverage against China in its sphere of influence.
Armenia's attack on Azerbaijani territory in 2020 was not only an assault on Azerbaijan but also on European and Asian energy security. The world has remained neutral in the face of this most recent Armenian aggression, creating a dangerous global precedent and eroding trust in global institutions.
International students can play an important role in increasing India's foreign policy influence. International students often carry a favourable image of the host country back to their home country. China has recognised this opportunity but India's New Education Policy has entirely ignored it.