For the first time since the tensions between India and China started in May 2020, India, which had been recuperating after a loss of 20 soldiers at Galwan valley, is now looking to be a bit upbeat as it started its naval exercises with Japan in the Arabian sea.
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The NDTV on September 28, 2020, informed that ‘ Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships conducted operations in close formation at JIMEX-2020, the 4th edition of India-Japan maritime bilateral exercise, held in the North Arabian Sea from September 26 to 28’.
Through these drills, India has given two signals in one-go. To China, New Delhi has communicated that India is with Japan and the QUAD and to Pakistan (China too) that the new alliance will keep an eye on Gwadar Port, in Balochistan, Pakistan, where the CPEC ends for China to carry its exports to the whole world.
It will be interesting to note that Japan stance with India has come even when Chinese president Xi Jinping had recently wished Shinzo Abe a ‘speedy-recovery’ and Pakistan PM Imran Khan too also had expressed the same, but Japan has its priorities settled with the US, as QUAD which has India, Australia and the US apart from Japan, is the baton with which Japan wants to counter China.
Apart from this QUAD which plans to encircle China, there is also another group emerging with India, Israel, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and other Arab countries at the end of the road to make it happen and it is very likely that the US will also join the exercises (in Arabian sea) which it had already been doing since June 2020, when it had sent three of its military aircraft carriers in the South China Sea, The Japan Times had reported on June 21, 2020.
The progress is just growing towards their final spill-out as the world is just waiting for the outcome of the US November 2020 elections towards which US President Donald Trump has already declared that he ‘won’t commit to a peaceful transfer of power’ as reported by BBC on September 24, 2020, for the street-power he yields throwing democracy to the canons!
Despite the US establishment (Pentagon) against him, no wonder, he has accused that Pentagon officials wanting a war to keep contractors happy, reported TOI on September 8, 2020. India is now to be constantly by the side of US and has taken up the cudgels in the Maldives too, as Maldives has entered into a deal with the US, reported The Economic Times on September 14, 2020, and only six-days later India too came forward to provide with 250 million USD aid to the country without conditions.
India is thus now counterbalancing China with Japan and has taken a plunge into the Maldives with US support. Hence, India is now on its next level to tackle China.
The world has never been so dangerously placed as it is right now. US-China tensions are at an all-time high, India is locked in an intense border dispute with both China and Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia are already in a state of war, Turkey and Greece are raring for a war in the Mediterranean sea, Gulf-states are all in peril over wars in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq and a KSA-Israel-US joint war on Iran is well on the cards too, as this is perhaps what Trump will surely like to add to his portfolio.
Afghan-Taliban are on a verge of taking over Kabul but circumstances seem to be heading the blood spilled out on the streets, and this all is just waiting for the US elections to decide. Maybe once Trump wins over, the US might overturn to stay in Afghanistan! Who knows?
All the Arab states along with Israel want Trump to win and PM Modi cannot imagine anyone else apart from Trump. If and after Trumps wins, war on Iran will obviously make China retort as Beijing and Tehran have entered into a 400 billion USD ‘trade and military’ deal and it would splurge its ramifications on CPEC project, which US and India want dead at every cost.
The beginning towards the end seems to have started as Armenia and Azerbaijan have gone to war. Azerbaijan buys its weaponry from Israel; Turkey and Pakistan are vehemently supporting Azerbaijan while Russia, a key ally on Turkey is supporting Armenia.
Turkey is against Greece, Turkey and Israel are traditional foes but are supportive of Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Israel are sworn enemies but are aligned over Azerbaijan while Iran is supporting Christian Armenia over Muslim (Shia) Azerbaijan.
European nations out of their animosity of Turkey are supporting Armenia, hence, many of the nations are foes and friends at the same time. The US anyhow wants Russia and Turkey to lock-horns as that would smoothen a way out for Arab states.
Turkey, instigated by Pakistan, has rallied for Kashmir which India has loathed. It is in this grave unfolding scenario the world is waiting for the results of US elections, but even before that India and China might start to flex-muscles in the Himalayas which could lead to a possible ‘limited’ war.
One thing is, however, becoming clear that the world would be a different place after the US elections, already half beleaguered by the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The writer is a former State Information Commissioner, India. He is a media analyst and writes on international politics. VIEWS PERSONAL