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Can India challenge China for the Top Spot?

Washington’s wishful thinking continues to underline the idea that India might simply displace China on the world market. India has unquestionable economic and population growth potential, but it also faces formidable obstacles that prevent it from challenging China for the top spot.

Although the US and India have frequently been referred to as strategic partners, a closer examination of their interactions reveals a more complex situation. Despite the fact that they collaborate on numerous fronts and share identical goals, they are unable to fit into the conventional structure of a strategic alliance due to the particular difficulties they encounter. They are better described as partners with mutually beneficial objectives.

The US-India relationship from a strategic alliance can be distinguished in part by how they react to China in the region. Due to its greater closeness to China, India faces a more complicated collection of challenges, including continuous border disputes with numerous neighbours, the Pakistan factor, a military takeover in Myanmar, and China's growing influence in the region.

In light of these facts, New Delhi cannot afford to take a confrontational approach towards China. India's approach is therefore less bellicose and more strategic and aligned in nature. The US and India are unable to be actual strategic allies because of this fundamental disagreement in how they view China.

The fact that India has a history of strategic dependence on Russia also calls into question the idea of a strategic alliance. In especially when it comes to defence issues, Russia has been a dependable partner for India. Russia has historically supplied India with its defence equipment needs.

Washington’s goals and diplomacy run counter to this strategic alliance with Russia. The strangeness of it all is that the US is likely to make allowances for India's reliance on Russia to some level given that it recognises the reality of India's interests and objectives. This practical approach recognises that when there are large gaps in defence cooperation, a meaningful strategic alliance cannot be formed.

In light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the US, the two countries are anticipated to increase their defence and technological collaboration, with India getting access to American technologies by opening a semiconductor assembly and test facility on its soil. This may show the expanding relationship and mutual advantages between the two countries, but it also falls short of the official pacts and commitments that characterise a strategic alliance.

And worse yet, the old distinction between allies and foes is fuzzing in today's multipolar world. It is more accurate to refer to the US-India relationship as a partnership built on common interests, objectives, and advantages for both parties. Through this relationship, both nations are better able to take use of one another's advantages and negotiate the intricate geopolitical terrain.

The recent US permission of Indian businesses to produce advanced fighter engines with U.S. design and other arms deals may have given the impression of unparalleled trust. However, because of American policies towards China, authorities have chosen to work with India rather than fully taking into account the complexity of the Indian market and its economic dynamics.

As it turns out, India's recent economic development may be great, but it shouldn't be seen as a sure sign that it would ever be able to usurp China's place in the world market. China's economic power has surpassed India in several areas thanks to decades of strategic planning and development. Not surprisingly then, China's extensive industrial capacity, export supremacy, and global supply chain integration will continue to eclipse India's economic progress for many decades to come.


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