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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The new "CIA"... China, India and America

Kishore Mahbubani
India Today
8 January 2017

The new "CIA"... China, India and America

Shakespeare wisely said, "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries." Such a window of opportunity has now opened for India to join the 'A' league of powers. The election of Donald Trump has opened this window.
A rocky, probably even turbulent, road lies ahead for US-China relations. Even before taking office, Trump has challenged China on many fronts, from trade to Taiwan. In the face of this, India has two choices. It can sit back and smack its lips with satisfaction watching the travails of Beijing as it handles the mercurial Trump. Or it can cunningly exploit this new turbulence in US-China relations to catapult itself into a new 'A' league of great powers, best captured in the acronym: CIA. CIA will now stand for China, India and America.

The big question here is whether India can be cunning. Calm and detached cunning geopolitical calculations are supposed to be the hallmark of strategic thinking. It is therefore puzzling that sometimes petulance seems to trump cunning in Indian strategic thinking. Every time a new 'slight' appears, India responds with great emotional agitation rather than with an effort to see if adversity can be turned into an opportunity.

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