What do you understand by India USA China Triangle? How China is raising its influence in India’s neighboring countries? Read further to know more about it.
The India-USA-China triangle is a complex geopolitical phenomenon that has gained significant attention in recent years. India, the world’s largest democracy, is positioned in South Asia, while China is situated in East Asia.
The United States, the world’s largest economy and military superpower, is situated in North America.
The three nations are interdependent on each other economically, politically, and strategically.
India USA China Triangle
India’s relationship with the US has grown significantly in recent years, driven by shared democratic values, economic and trade ties, and a common interest in regional security and stability. The two countries have deepened their strategic partnership through initiatives like the Quad, a grouping of four democratic countries that includes Japan and Australia, aimed at promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
At the same time, India’s relationship with China has been more complex and fraught with tension, as the two countries compete for influence in the region and clash over territorial disputes along their shared border. China’s growing economic and military influence in India’s neighborhood has also raised concerns in New Delhi about encirclement and the potential for conflict.
India, China, and the United States are the world’s most populous countries, and their economic and military capabilities are among the strongest. As a result, they are all vital players in the global arena. Their interactions and relationships with each other have an enormous impact on global stability and security.
India US Relations
India and the United States have been building a strategic partnership over the past two decades. The relationship between the two countries has seen a remarkable transformation from the period of the Cold War.
The relationship between India and the United States is multifaceted and covers a wide range of areas such as trade, defense, energy, and counter-terrorism. The strategic partnership between the two countries is based on shared values of democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights.
Trade has been one of the key areas of engagement between India and the United States. The two countries have seen a significant increase in trade in the last two decades, with bilateral trade reaching over USD 119.42 billion (2021-2022) as against USD 80.51 billion in 2020-21. The United States is one of India’s top trading partners, with India being the ninth largest trading partner for the United States.
However, trade relations between the two countries have not always been smooth. There have been disputes over market access, intellectual property rights, and tariff barriers. Despite these challenges, both countries have made efforts to address these issues and deepen their economic ties.
Defence has emerged as another key area of cooperation between India and the United States. In recent years, India has become one of the largest buyers of American defense equipment, with the United States becoming India’s second-largest defense supplier after Russia.
In addition, the two countries have conducted joint military exercises and signed several defense agreements to enhance defense cooperation. The United States has also designated India as a Major Defense Partner, which has provided India with access to advanced military technology.
Energy is another area where India and the United States have been working closely together. India has set ambitious targets for renewable energy and has been working with the United States to achieve these targets. The two countries have launched several initiatives such as the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership and the Clean Energy Finance Forum to promote clean energy and sustainable development.
Counter-terrorism is another area of cooperation between India and the United States. Both countries have been affected by terrorism and have been working together to combat this threat. The United States has designated several terrorist groups based in India as Foreign Terrorist Organizations and has provided support to India in its fight against terrorism.
India China Relations
India and China are two of the largest and most populous countries in the world. Both countries have a long history and rich cultural heritage, but in recent years, their relationship has been marked by tension and conflict.
Historically, India and China had a relatively stable relationship, with both countries engaging in trade and cultural exchange. However, in the 20th century, tensions began to rise as China became more aggressive in its territorial claims in the region.
One of the main points of contention between India and China is the border dispute in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. The two countries share a 3,488-kilometer-long border, which has never been properly demarcated. In 1962, the two countries went to war over the border issue. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes and incidents of violence along the border.
In recent years, tensions have escalated further, with both countries increasing their military presence along the border. In June 2020, a violent clash broke out between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, resulting in the deaths of Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers.
The incident led to a further deterioration of the relationship between the two countries, with India imposing economic sanctions on China and banning Chinese apps and investments. China, in turn, has refused to back down on its territorial claims in the region and has continued to increase its military presence along the border.
The India-China relationship is further complicated by their competing geopolitical interests. China has been expanding its influence in the region through its Belt and Road Initiative, a massive infrastructure project that seeks to connect Asia, Europe, and Africa.
India, on the other hand, sees China’s growing influence as a threat to its own security and has been working to counter it through its “Act East” policy, which seeks to deepen ties with other countries in the region.
China’s Influence in Indian Neighbouring Countries
China’s influence in India’s neighboring countries has been a growing concern for India in recent years. China has been seeking to increase its economic and strategic presence in the region through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and other initiatives.
One of the countries where China has increased its influence is Pakistan. China has invested heavily in infrastructure projects in Pakistan, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a part of the BRI. China has also provided military and economic assistance to Pakistan, which has complicated India’s relationship with its Western neighbor.
China has also been seeking to increase its influence in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, which are all located in India’s immediate neighborhood. China has provided economic assistance and invested in infrastructure projects in these countries, which has given it greater leverage in its internal affairs.
In addition to its economic and strategic investments, China has also been engaging in soft power diplomacy in the region, including by establishing Confucius Institutes and promoting Chinese culture and language.
India has been concerned about China’s growing influence in the region, as it sees it as a threat to its own security and regional stability. India has sought to counter China’s influence through increased economic engagement and strategic partnerships with its neighboring countries. India has also been working with other like-minded countries, including Japan and the United States, to promote a vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, which is seen as a counter to China’s strategic ambitions.
India and US Efforts to Counter China’s Influence
In recent years, India and the United States have taken steps to counter China’s growing influence in the region. Both countries share concerns over China’s aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea, its expanding military presence in the Indian Ocean region, and its economic and technological dominance.
One of the ways in which India and the United States are working together to counter China is through increased cooperation in the security and defense sectors. In 2016, India and the United States signed a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which allows for the sharing of military logistics and supplies.
This was followed by the signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018, which allows for secure communication between the militaries of both countries.
In addition to these agreements, the two countries have been conducting joint military exercises, including the Malabar naval exercise, which also involves Japan and Australia. The exercises aim to increase interoperability between the militaries of the four countries and to send a message of deterrence to China.
India and the United States have also been working to deepen economic ties in order to counter China’s economic influence in the region. In 2017, the two countries launched the Strategic Energy Partnership, which aims to increase cooperation in the areas of energy security, trade, and investment.
The United States has also been pushing for India to become a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which would give India a greater say in shaping economic policies in the region.
Another way in which India and the United States are countering China is through their collaboration in the technology sector. The United States has been pushing for India to become a part of its “Clean Network” initiative, which aims to exclude Chinese technology companies from participating in critical telecommunications infrastructure.
India has also taken steps to limit Chinese technology companies access to its market, including banning Chinese apps such as TikTok and WeChat.
While India and the United States share concerns over China’s growing influence in the region, their efforts to counter it are not without challenges. India’s traditionally non-aligned foreign policy and its ongoing border dispute with China complicate its efforts to align more closely with the United States.
Additionally, the United States’ own shifting foreign policy priorities under the Biden administration may affect its willingness to engage in the region.
Overall, the India-USA-China triangle is a key driver of regional and global politics and will continue to shape the strategic landscape in the coming years. As India seeks to balance its relationships with these two major powers, it will need to navigate a complex set of geopolitical, economic, and security challenges, while promoting its own interests and strategic objectives.
Article Written By: Priti Raj