Here’s another example of a debate where framing, in this case to favor the U.S. Navy, is disputable. Robert Farley and Chris van Avery continue a discussion about China and India.
But, Peter Drysdale has to make it all so messy.
Both China and India are expanding their defence budgets, China not uniquely so.
China certainly remains more open to trade and foreign investment than India – India’s foreign trade is five times smaller than that of China – and partners have levelled an equal number of complaints against them in the WTO.
China and India are also pursuing similar energy strategies via state firms and in developing economies.
Gilboy and Heginbotham warn that care should be taken in basing expectations of international behaviour on political ideals or domestic regime differences, and that policy makers should, rather, rely on a ‘nuanced, pragmatic realism’ as a guide to foreign policy. They suggest that the US ought to rebalance its India policy by building more robust economic and diplomatic foundations for it before delivering greater military and geostrategic support. They suggest that the US should maintain its deterrent capabilities in East Asia vis-à-vis China, at the same time, positioning ‘military forces in ways that minimise the risk of provoking reactions that undermine – rather than buttress – stability’. The reality is, they conclude, that US dealing with both China and India will be best secured by prioritising the techno-economic challenge from these rising powers, primarily by pursuing domestic policies within the US that maintain or strengthen its existing technological and economic advantages.
The world of Asia’s rising powers will be more complex than is often assumed, this analysis suggests, and unlikely to revolve around the singular challenge of balancing China’s growing power.
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