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

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From 50 Years Ago: Narrowing Options

Vol VI, Nos 30, 31 and 32 july 24, 1971

Narrowing Options

The Sino-American detente has obviously upset some of the basic assumptions of Indian foreign policy. It was more or less taken for granted till now that the United States would want India to be a strong and stable power in South Asia, more so in view of its impending withdrawal from its deep involvement in Vietnam. A related assumption seems to have been that, even while it disengaged itself, the United States would not wish to allow conditions to be created in any part of this region favourable to the emergence of situations such as that which developed in Vietnam earlier. It was firmly believed for this reason that the United States would at least remain neutral regarding Bangla Desh. Even if it did not play a more positive role in working for a satisfactory political settlement. These assumptions and expectations have been falsified at least for the present. The desire of the United States to normalise its relations with China is of course not only understandable but to be applauded, “This is what India has urged all along since the early fifties. The thaw in Sino-American relations cannot” therefore by itself be a matter for concern.

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