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US-China Trade War

Mains-GS 2- International Relations

The trade dispute between the US and China has now evolved into a geopolitical contest.

What is the issue?

1. The first ever Indo-Pacific Strategy Report (ISPR) released by the US stated that China is a revisionist power and seeks to dominate the Western Pacific and gradually the globe.

2. Neither of them accepts that multi-polar global order is feasible.

3. The cold war-like situation between the US and China will have implications on the global order.

Where do both the powers stand?

1. Economic Scenario: China and the US are evenly matched, with China certain to overtake US GDP by 2030.

2. Technological prowess: 

a) China is catching up with US with massive investments in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and advanced electronics.

b) Unlike the cold war scenario, huge investment and trade relationship exists between both the powers which will make it difficult to be hostile to one another.

3. Global Strategic Footprint: 

a) China does not have allies and a string of bases across the globe like the US.

b) But the infrastructure being created through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) across the globe could be transformed into a security platform over time.

4. Alliances:

a) Russia may move closer to an alliance with China with the recent upturn in relations.

b) US-led alliance systems are under strain due to recent policy stances of Trump administration.

c) So, there may be a stalemate overall at least over the next decade and beyond with none of gaining predominance.

How should India respond?

1. India should resist demands to choose sides and must emphasis on its policy of multipolar global order.

2. Promote India’s economic and security interests through multiple engagements actively, seek partnerships which are more issue-based like Quad, Asia-Africa Growth corridor, North-South cooperation etc.

3. India must retain its internationalist spirit through collaborative platforms based on consent and multilateral processes which respect the principle of equity in addressing the global issues.

In short, it must stick to the motive which marked its foreign policy in the early years after Independence.

Source: The Indian Express