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Sino–US Strife and India

Cold War 2.0

Despite professing Non-Alignment, India effectively became a pawn in the hands of the Western powers as it walked into the trap of the 1962 Sino-Indian war. As a new Cold War builds up between China and the United States, would India be able to avoid its past mistakes?

The Cold War was as much about ideology as it was about money. It began after Stalin refused to be a part of the United States(US)-led Bretton Woods system. Russia created its own sphere of influence where the dollar was not required for intra-bloc trade. China is the new Russia in the latest avatar of the Cold War. It is creating its own space on the global map where it can possibly defy the dollar’s hegemony. The major difference, however, is that Russia used political tools to enhance its influence whereas China is using financial instruments to fuel its expansion.

Russian advancement was considered inimical to the sustainability of the Anglo–Saxon banking order. This challenge was met by creating a wedge in the communist world by keeping Russia and China apart. The 1962 Indo–China war played a big role in the Sino–Soviet split. In the Opium War and other imperial wars, India did not enjoy freedom to decide its participation. The Indo–China war in 1962 was the first war where the Indian leadership had a modicum of choice. Yet it was easily drawn into the war because its right-wing political and business groups were inclined towards sustaining Western dominance. The Indian left, with its roots in Fabian socialism and American civil rights movements, too was more amiable to fulfilling American strategic aims.

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