Tension between India and China is rising to a dangerous level, and a military confrontation has become a real possibility. Such a conflict can prove catastrophic not only for this region, but can also escalate to a Third World War. Unfortunately, Asia and the Indian subcontinent can become an arena for this most dangerous and destructive Third World War. Before upping the ante, we should also think of the devastating consequences which our actions can lead to. I feel that both sides are not taking this as seriously as they should. India and China are the largest countries of Asia, and they have a moral responsibility to try to prevent Asia becoming an arena for the Third World War.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to America and Israel, and President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia shows that the world is getting polarized, and new alliances are emerging in the world. On one side: America-Israel-India alliance, and on the other side, Russia-China-Germany alliance may emerge. The differences between America and Germany are growing and it has become a real possibility that Germany, the biggest economic power of Europe, can switch sides like Turkey did; and join Russia to make Europe a rival of America rather than its biggest ally. If Europe switches sides, then the emerging America-Israel-India alliance can be perceived as an anti-Russia, anti-China and anti-Islamic alliance, because Europe was always perceived as tilting toward the Palestinians (Muslims), while America was seen as solidly backing Israel. Similarly, Europe is perceived as soft on Russia while America is seen as vehemently anti Russia.

If Europe leaves America, then it will become very difficult for any Islamic country to be seen in the American camp. The confrontation between America and Russia will also increase because the moderating effect of Europe will be lost. Both of these scenarios increase the possibility of a Third World War.

India should see how the new trends have already started becoming clear. In the recently held G-20 meeting in Germany, it became clear how America is losing influence and is becoming isolated in the world. Some people are calling it a G19 against one meeting. All other countries were united against America coming out of the Paris Climate treaty, as well as America’s protectionist attitude towards world trade. In the group photo of the world leaders, it is obvious that America’s influence has decreased in the world. Trump was pushed away from the center, and China and Russia have moved closer to the center. This trend becomes clear if we compare the group photos starting from 2014 to 2017.

Such a polarization of the world sets the stage for a quick escalation of India-China conflict to a Third World War. Unfortunately, Russia, the closest and most time-tested friend of India, may be forced to take the opposite side. Similarly, the perception of an alliance of America, Israel and India can force the Islamic countries to take the opposite side. We can already see that Iran, which was at one time a close friend of India, has now started to equate the situation in Kashmir to the situation in Palestine. It is not in India’s interest to be perceived as a part of an anti-Russia, anti-China and anti-Islamic alliance. I feel that China does not want to be dragged into a world war. Such a war will go against the policy of focusing on economic development and developing China’s internal market. This has been the crux of China’s policy in the last three decades.

Historically, India and China had very good relations. A Chinese scholar said that India conquered China without sending a single soldier: by the philosophy of Buddhism. China accepted Buddhism. There was trade as well as cultural exchange even in ancient times.

A military conflict is in nobody’s interest. Therefore, both sides should try everything to find a diplomatic and political solution before resorting to a military confrontation. India should also try to get Russia involved in finding an amicable solution, because Russia has good relations with India and China. India and China, in spite of differences, have many common goals. Both countries can only get the status they deserve in a multipolar world, rather than in the present western-dominated unipolar world. Let us concentrate on our commonalities, rather than our differences and give peace a chance.

Sawraj Singh

Via E-mail

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