India rising

Behind the alarmist talk of a rising China that threatens all and sundry before it, there lies the reassuring reality that communist Beijing is being kept firmly in check by the world’s largest democracy.

Make no mistake, India is on the up – economically and in military terms.

New Delhi has not flinched in the face of Chinese bellicosity, calmly meeting the communist menace – both real and perceived – with an ideological realism that meets threats with strength.

India is modernising it’s navy, building an aircraft carrier and has recently commissioned a nuclear missile submarine, is upgrading the bulk of it’s air force with French, Russian and American imports as well as testing new ballistic missiles.

On the diplomatic front, Prime Minister Mohdi is pressing for the formalisation of the four power naval agreement between India, Japan, Australia and the US, as well as providing armaments to Vietnam.

In an era of comparative American decline, India is firming up as a crucial player that can keep the peace as well as keep China in check.

And Beijing knows it, which is the very reason so many of it’s strategic contemplation are focused on isolating the subcontinent.

In bellicose behaviour is akin to the cold war, China seems intent on testing Indian resolve on every possible front.

In Pakistan, it’s building in the politically sensitive Kashmir region, on the high seas it has increased it’s incursions into the Indian Ocean and at the border with India and Bhutan – at Doklam – it has even tried to unilaterally redraw the border by threat of force.

Recent reports that China has deployed new armour and advanced aircraft to the Tibetan plateau are just the latest in a series of unnerving cases of brinkmanship.

But India has played a deft hand, staring down each threat as they arise.

The latest case being Beijing’s tentative attempts to protect it’s puppet government in the Maldives from falling to a New Delhi aligned administration, sending a naval flotilla towards the islands only to be met by firm Indian resolve.

Like Taiwan, it seems that India is not for turning.

At every turn, in every instance, the deeply nationalist Mohdi is showing India’s resolve.

Though outgunned in real terms in a straight fight, and lacking a coherent second strike capability in the event a fight turns nuclear, India’s determination in the face of Chinese aggression is not going unnoticed.

Both Russia and the west are scrambling to secure arms contracts with an India that is rapidly rearming.

It’s partly the reason Russia has fast tracked the SU-57 into service in Syria, to show off it’s latest fighter to a nation with it’s cheque book out.

Both diplomatically and militarily, China’s push for it’s one belt initiative is meeting both Russian and American push back.

It’s a rare peace of common ground between Moscow and Washington – the defence of Indian interests in the face of Chinese aggression.

India has dealt calmly and firmly with the rising communist threat so far, but much more needs to be done.

It’s defence budget, though already on the rise, needs to increase substantially.

It’s aversion to alliances with other major powers needs to be overcome, and it needs to balance it’s close relations with both Russia and the west.

China is intent on provocation, in the firm belief it will prevail in a firefight. However, India has denied them the pleasure, in each instance calmly staring them down.

Despite all the hysteria of a rearming China, lies the reassuring reality that India is slowly rising.

But with the Chinese government openly reinforcing Doklam, patrolling the Indian ocean and threatening a resumption of hostilities, it’s clear that the Mohdi administration still has some difficult decisions to be met with.

On past form though, the Prime Minister to date seems well suited to the test.

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