The international politics is a complex web of global alliances and synergic economic interests. The international relations are decided by a multitude of factors ranging from international trade, geopolitical stability, and sovereign integrity. These are ever changing and must be moulded to suit altered situations. It is clear that every nation is competing for the higher echelons of power and business. Many times, the countries may have a conflicting interest or might see each other as a potential opponent in their quest for the control of the natural resources. The hostility between the nations which surround the South China Sea is a classic example of tension between the neighbouring states in order to establish their supremacy over the natural minerals and trade routes. The global powers like United States, China, Russia, India, etc. are nuclear armed states and these weapons of mass destruction constitutes an effective deterrent for the other nations to take any leverage with them. The global hegemony of US is also challenged in the contemporary times by the rise of belligerent China who generously supports its allies to make for a parallel power centre. The election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency has started an era of unusual inconsistency for he is known to take extreme positions to benefit his interests.
In such a challenging world political scenario, India appears to be a shining star due to its ability to both manoeuvre out of complex situations and show rigidity when needed. Ever since the beginning of the term of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the global relations have been the hallmark of the government. The PM himself has established cordial relations with a number of nations and has craved a unique niche for the nation in the world. The relations with both USA and Russia have been cordial. India has also increased its global standing as a world power due to the support it has lent to environmental causes like International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the United Nations Framework Convention against Climate Change (UNFCCC, popularly known as the Paris Pact). While the former is an initiative of India with France, the commitment towards the Paris Pact is significant because of the departure of the USA from the pact. The use of the global diplomacy to ease out tensions between the nations is on an all-time high. The Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has also done a commendable job to pitch for India’s interests at various international forums.
Belligerency of China
The geographical boundary dispute between India and China dates back to the times of the Shimla Accord (1914) which was signed between the colonial British, Tibet and China that demarcated the Radcliffe Line between China and India. The accord has been disputed by China which asserts its claims over a large territory of Arunachal Pradesh as well. The refuge granted by the Indian Government to the fleeing Dalai Lama in 1959 worsened the relations that culminated into a full-fledged War in 1962. Over the years, the relations have remained stable in spite of some instance so border invasions or muscle flexing by the Chinese military. The recent stand-off at the tri-junction point at Doklam tried to push the two nations into hostility. Though the stalemate continued for over a month, both the nations practised restraint and an amicable solution was found in the end. China has also tried to subvert the interests of India at global forum through its reservations against declaration of Masood Azhar as the international terrorist and blocking India’s entry into the coveted Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Though its resistance for the latter is supposedly on the ground that India is not a signatory to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), but the real motive is to harm India’s nuclear ambitions. It has tried to surround India through its unstated ‘Ring of Pearls’ strategy and has developed relations with nations like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, etc. to assert its supremacy in the Indian subcontinent. It has also developed military bases in Pakistan and Djibouti to extend its influence.
The most controversial project of China is the ambitious One Road, One Belt (OROB) which seeks to develop trade partnerships along the historic Silk Route with the Middle East. The $50 billion venture include China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that aims to develop trade synergies between the two nations in addition to the fuel pipeline from the Middle East nations. The bone of contention in the project is that it passes through the disputed region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) of Gilgit Baltistan. India has expressed its reservations towards the project in the strongest terms. It also skipped the last moth meet of OROB to convey its opposition. Notwithstanding the problem between the two nations, the Modi Government has succeeded in handling the tricky situation with caution and has restrained from unnecessary chest thumping. The PM himself met the Chinese Premier at the BRICS Summit in September 2017 to maintain ‘sustainable and healthy ties’. India has also attained global support from USA and Russia to thwart any malicious attempts of China to undermine its sovereignty. The feather in the cap would be India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an elite global grouping of which China is not a member. India has also uncovered the double standards of China at various international forums as it on one hand talks of elimination terrorism, and on the other hand provides financial and military support to Pakistan who is the biggest dealer of terrorism in the world. The influence of India led to even USA recognising that the OROB project is unsustainable because its undermine India’s territorial sovereignty and passes through the disputed Pok region. It is pertinent to mention that only a handful of nations have agreed to collaborate with China on OROB due to the sustained global opposition and pressure by India.
Exposing Pakistan’s Diabolic Plans
The problem of Pakistan sponsored terrorism has been one of the gravest contingencies that the nation is facing from decades. Thousands of valiant soldiers have sacrificed themselves and humongous resources have been put to cater to it. The support to the terrorism by Pakistan is now an exposed truth, thanks to the continuous bashing administered by India at global platforms. The External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at the United Nations General Assembly, “We have made IITs, Pakistan built Lashkar”, while accusing Pakistan of the state sponsored terrorism. It must be marked as an achievement of India that even the Middle Eastern nations which used to have a sympathetic attitude towards Pakistan have been seen as distancing themselves from it. The greatest indictment for Pakistan has come from the ally United States which has warned Pakistan to improve the situation and act tough on terrorism. The Donald Trump’s government is extremely serious on its fight against terrorism and US Defence Secretary James Mattis has recently advised Pakistan that it could benefit from India if it ends safe havens for terrorists. It must be mentioned that Pakistan had to face huge embarrassment at the UN due to false photographs being posted to show atrocities on Kashmiris in India. India quickly exposed this fallacious evidence as the photograph was on Israel where the conflict is with Palestine. It is a glaring example of the loss of credibility of Pakistan at the global stage and its coronation of being the benefactor of global terror.
Strengthening ties with Allies
The greatest feature of the diplomatic strength of India has been its ability to cement relations with nations of diverse ideologies and interests. At the top of the list of India’s allies have to be USA and Russia, with India being able to balance both superpowers with élan. Donald Trump has said on the visit of PM Modi that India has ‘a true friend’ in the White House. Trump has also called on India to have a greater role in Afghanistan and has supported the opposition to the OROB Project. India has maintained equal warm ties with Russia with both of them being involved in defence projects along with the construction of nuclear reactors in India. Japan is one of closet ally of India and is pivotal for India’s ‘Look East Policy’. It has invested heavily in infrastructure projects in India and has rendered technical support for the ₹ 1 lakh crores Bullet Train Project. The naval exercise in the form of Malabar Exercise between USA, Japan and India in the Indian Ocean is one of the biggest in the world. PM Modi also scripted history by becoming the first PM to visit Israel. Israel extended warm regards and has promised support in military, irrigation and surveillance systems. India has rigidly supported Bhutan against China’s hegemony at Dokhlam and has cordial relations with Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The ties with Australia are also on all time high with the nation promising the supply of uranium ore for India’s nuclear reactors. The PM has been successful in forging unique trust with Middle East nations as well especially Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE. Interestingly, Iran is one of the closest associate with about half of the critical oil supply to India coming from it. The close ties with the Middle East countries show India’s diverse relations with global powers. Germany has one of the trusted partners of India and has invested millions of rupees in the infrastructural projects.
‘Diplomatic Prowess’ India’s formidable weapon
The success of India’s diplomatic capability in establishing warm relations with diverse nations and help in contributing to the nation’s interests is unparalleled in the entire world. The present diplomatic prowess and the ‘personal touch’ rendered by the PM Modi in fostering partnerships with foreign nations might give a tough competition to Nehru’s Panchsheel which helped the nation remain neutral in the Cold War Era. Narendra Modi has been able to forge a great working relation with both Obama and Donald Trump, both of whom differ in their style and demeanour. Sushma Swaraj has ably supported the PM and has been instrumental in conducting diplomatic mission with great success. The present dispensation has been able to attract huge foreign investment and technological intervention due to its working pattern from the global powers. India today is being seen as the global power house and its stance carries global credence with wide ranging repercussions. The nation has a unique opportunity to benefit from its global partnerships and ameliorate the masses from the evils of hunger, poverty and disease. It is hoped that the Union Government continues to chart greater successes through immaculate diplomacy manoeuvring and is able to fulfil the aspirations of crores of Indians.