Pentagon’s China document betrays US confusion, but India bears the brunt

The Pentagon document reveals the ‘knee-jerk’ response of the Americans resembling the old landlords, witnessing their authority eroded. Liberally funded with the western capital, China is poised to capture the Super Power status of the world by 2050.

During the post World War-II years under the banner of the pro-democracy agenda, United States of American (USA), the successor state of the British Empire, has been on the forefront of the erstwhile colonial powers. With the eclipse of the British, America has emerged as the symbol of the ‘free world’ since 1945, when finally curtain was drawn on WW-II with the nuclear bombing of Japan. During the fifties, it, however, received a challenge from Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which too had acquired the nuclear device, the ultimate weapon against mankind. In 2020, the power spectrum of the world witnessed paradigm changes with the pandemic COVID-19. An assertive China, an economic giant equipped with the state-of technologies, emerges on the eastern horizon, thus threatening the four centuries of the western hegemony.

The two major powers, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and USA became the super powers on the debris of the world wars, WW-I and WW-II respectively. Under the spell of the Marxism philosophy, asserting the role of the common people or proletariat, the USSR emerged as a power ending its age-old feudal system. It, however, became a super power after trouncing Germany in the WW-II. It had the strongest conventional army committed, but did not have the nuclear teeth. However, with the half-of Germany under its occupation, USSR too could industrialize as much higher pace and it too became a nuclear power. Thus, reaffirming the worst apprehensions of statesmen like, Sir Winston Churchill, the then British Prime Minister, who were carefully planning a new world order, now under USA during the post WW-II years. Churchill had indicated his strategy to the USA president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when the world leaders had met at Potsdam in 1945 to carve out their respective zones of influence in the world, though officially the four big powers, USA, Britain, France and USSR decided to demilitarize Germany. During the Potsdam conference, Churchill had also justified before Roosevelt the partition of India for ensuring Muslim support to the west’s strategic interests, especially when the Communist takeover of China appeared to be imminent. His prophecy proved true, when four years later in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) took over the mainland China. Thus, the communist group became a formidable block having territories from Easter Europe to the Far East in Asia.

The US-led western powers refused to recognize China as a replacement to the Kuomintang, but when it was realized that the USSR and China were not on the same page or there were some dissensions within the Communist countries, USA decided to recognize China and conceded even the membership of the UN Security Council. Thus the Kuomintang ruled, Taiwan, was finally dumped. It exists as unrecognized country in the world today, where the Chinese takeover could take place any day. During the eighties and in subsequent years, another prophecy of Churchill became a reality, when the Muslims of the partitioned India, now Pakistan, were used in Afghanistan for finally trouncing the USSR in the region. The Islamic card finally helped the west to witness the fragmentation of the USSR. Thus, USA became the only Super Power on the earth. However, during the first two decades of the 21st century, China has become an assertive power centre in the global politics.

The Pentagon document reveals the ‘knee-jerk’ responses of the American resembling the old landlords, witnessing their authority eroded. The western institutions, the academia, technology institutions, capital market, the banking systems and even the real estate are under the Chinese spell. In the World Bank too, China has a sizeable presence. The Pentagon document does not refer to the Chinese penetration in the western systems. There are sizeable shares in the American companies running media houses, TV channels and newspapers. Is it not interesting that the companies owned by the CPC or the Chinese government have economic interests in the world’s free media!

It appears that so far American establishment comprising its academia, legislators and defence establishment could not prepare a road map for countering the growing Chinese influence. It is indeed quite painful for any country to be dethroned from the only Super Power status, which it had enjoyed since the decline of the USSR in nineties.

The Pentagon document gives details about the growing Chinese assertions along the India-Tibet borders in the Himalayas. India has been facing the Chinese expansionist policies since 1960 onwards. India expects a common approach of the democratic countries towards China. During sixties and seventies, the CIA had been closely working with Pakistan and China promoting insurgencies in India’s north-eastern region. The pride of the Super Power might be ‘hurt’ if someone suggests that the policy makers in the Capitol Hill irrespective of their political affiliations should have cared to study the recently published documents of the Indian scholars. They are much more objective than most of the strategic papers published or presented either in American Congress or discussed in some of the high-profile think tanks. It, indeed, is difficult for the Americans to accept that except John Galbraith, the world-renowned economist, who had also served as US ambassador in New Delhi, few really have ever dared to discuss the short-term myopic policies of the successive American administration, mostly driven by the nexus between the Capitol Hill and the defence industry. The recent example is the US-Australia nuclear sub-marine deal, which has fragmented the much-talked about the unity of the defence alliance in Europe under the umbrella of NATO. In a bid to outsmart the French defence industry, the Americans did not hesitate to ink a multi-billion deal with Australia, while France, its NATO ally, was at the final stage of negotiation for a conventional submarine deal with Australia.

Therefore, the focus of the Pentagon document appears to paint India and China as rivals or adversaries; however, it could be only partly true. With its technological empowerment and also being liberally funded with the western capital, China appears to be poised to capture the only Super Power status of the world by 2050. India being a frontline state in Asia sharing thousands of kilometres of long borders with China, has to face ‘multi-dimensional’ challenge from her northern neighbour. The Chinese ambitions and its military doctrine have already been made public. It would achieve its legitimate role in the world affairs, when China celebrates 100 years of the Communist takeover on 2049. It means that the long-term agenda of CPC to export Marxism revolution, though it is being kept on hold for the time being, would be re-launched.

In this backdrop, it is not difficult to understand India’s reluctance to serve as a frontline state to cater to the ‘strategic needs’ of USA and its allies, especially when the cracks are appearing among the members of the western block. Another reason for the Indian reluctance to serve America’s strategic and related interests could be natural. During the post World War-II years, India, though a democracy, had been at the receiving end of these much trumpeted democracies. The USA and its allies were always, keen to support military dictatorship in the South Asian region. This role appears to have been assumed by China in the region with its support to the military junta in Myanmar and now with its emerging nexus with the Taliban in Afghanistan. For Iran under an orthodox Shia Islamic regime, China is the most favourite friend.

India has been victim of the colonial conspiracies. She suffered in 1947, when the outgoing colonial power successfully partitioned India. She has been suffering wars and conflicts from a country carved out from her own territory. Therefore, it is natural for the Indian establishment to be a little wary of the American support, when it could allow the genocide of 30 million Bengali Muslims and rape of women and even sought the Chinese support to attack India during the 1971 conflict, when her forces were fighting for the cause of democracy against the repressive Pakistani army equipped with state-of-the art military weapons of USA.

It is high time that USA-led democracy forces shed off their colonial past and genuinely work for democracy. The present American administration under President Joe Biden’s decision to outsmart French in the submarine deal with Australia is yet another example of USA’s myopic approach for short-term gains. Therefore, it is little surprising that the Dragon and the Russian bear do not take US and its allies seriously anymore.