ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Mobama's China Spectre

New Delhi should refrain from being part of Washington's plans to contain the rise of China.

Barack Obama took a break from the Secret Service protocol. He spent some two hours in the open, reviewing India’s 66th Republic Day parade, perhaps looking forward to the day when the largely Russian military hardware on display will have been replaced by artillery from his country’s military-industrial complex. It did keep the nation anxious, on edge and all keyed up for the president of the United States to feel comfortable with the breach of what his Secret Service recommended – the presence of some 50,000 security personnel in the area and its immediate environs, a large battalion of snipers positioned all along the parade route, the declaration of a “no fly zone”, a joint manning of the air defences by Indian and US air force personnel, and, lest we forget, US military aircraft on standby on aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean. Well, no doubt we are living in an epoch of naked imperialism.

The New York Times (NYT) (26 January 2015) reported that the first 45 minutes of the first meeting that Obama had with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were dominated by just one issue, China. And, to their delight, Obama and his aides found that Modi’s assessment of China’s rise and its impact in the Asia-Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, seemed so close to that of their own. Modi was as concerned as Obama is about China’s influence in the region and of how to jointly (with the US) counter it. What resulted was the “US-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean”. This joint strategic vision statement said “Regional prosperity depends on security”, going on to “affirm the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight..., especially in the South China Sea” (our emphasis). The statement particularly calls attention to resolution of territorial and maritime disputes in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLS).

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