Need for a developmental trilateral, USIC

By Manoranjan Mohanty
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 28, 2015
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Let us look at the strategic possibilities a USIC can present.

Currently, a dangerous trend is unfolding in the Asia-Pacific region of escalating tensions between China and the U.S., as well as China and Japan. Developments in the South China Sea have created apprehensions among some Asian countries. India is placed in a special situation seeking good relations with the U.S., Japan, Vietnam and China.

During President Obama's visit to India in January 2015 the India-U.S. joint statement mentioned a common strategy in the Asia-Pacific Region which invited concerns from Chinese quarters. During the talks between Obama and Xi Jinping last week in Washington DC there was some progress in mutual understanding. However, differences in strategy persisted. India's close relations with Japan and Vietnam can work as a contributing factor to a larger framework of peace and stability in the region. An omission of China and India from the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific-Partnership can be addressed in positive ways once USIC dialogues take place. U.S. and India can then appreciate the value of China's Belt and Road Initiative and forge a shared agenda of infrastructure and economic development.

In West Asia, where U.S. policies have often led to deadlock, a USIC framework can add new options for peace and stability. China and India have close relations with Iran, Palestine and Syria where their role can help promote dialogue among adversaries. All three countries currently face serious threats from terrorism, and India needs coordinated developmental, political and security plans to meet the terrorist challenge. China and the U.S. can facilitate dialogues between India and Pakistan on a variety of issues including Kashmir.

The USIC should perceive itself as an instrument of transformation of the present international political economy into a more just and equitable order. America is seen as the greatest defender of the existing order and China as its greatest beneficiary. India can give credibility to the agenda of change that most other countries seek, including the plea for UN reforms.

U.S. elites should not cash in on India-China differences to build competing structures in the Cold War fashion. Instead, they can use their massive resources of capital, technology and knowledge to cooperate with China and India, the two countries best suited to aid world peace.

The USIC can cooperate with all multilateral and regional forums such as BRICS, SCO, ASEAN, SAARC, MERCSUR, EU and the African Union in the arenas of development and climate change. It must be seen as a democratic USIC to best achieve the SDGs with greater success than the MDGs.

The author is Distinguished Professor, Council for Social Development, Honorary Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies and a former Professor of University of Delhi. E-mail:

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