24 July, 2020
8 Min Read
New form of non-alignment:
- The External Affairs Minister has emphasized that India has never been part of an alliance system, nor will it ever be. This statement comes at a time when India- U.S. relations have been on the upswing.
- While complete non-alignment worked for India during the Cold War era between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the fact that India and China share a land boundary would always be a factor in a new cold war between the U.S. and China. India would inadvertently be pulled into the new cold war.
- Given the current multipolarity in the world, India would need to take a definite stand on issues thus requiring a new approach to the non-alignment policy. This would involve India not rejecting non-alignment in its entirety, but at the same time taking stands on issues without compromising on its independence.
- The assertion of India’s strategic independence and resistance to joining any alliance comes as a timely reminder amid speculation that tensions with China will push India into a stronger alliance with the U.S.
- Despite multiple calls for India and the U.S. to jointly “counter” China, India has rightly chosen not to raise its tensions with China in any forum other than bilateral talks with China.
- A notable aspect of foreign policy has been India’s outreach to Russia during the India-China tensions.
- The Indian Defence Minister had recently visited Russia. The External Affairs Minister had participated in the Russia-India-China trilateral.
- India has also been seeking to build coalitions with “middle powers”, such as the European Union and Japan.
- Non-alignment as a policy must be rethought, but India must be wary of alliance systems. India has thus far taken a carefully calibrated approach to the evolving situation in global affairs and should continue to do so.
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