A solid general overview of the dynamics among India, China, and the United States—and why the U.S. should pay close attention.
By turns alarming and encouraging, the alternating growth and setbacks occurring over the course of the last decades in nascent superpowers China and India offer challenging lessons to the U.S. To bring out the most positive scenarios in China and India by 2030, as strategic consultant and former U.S. Department of State official Manuel delineates with clarity, the U.S. must attend closely to the fields of diplomacy, trade, environmental issues, demographics, and economics. After a broad overview of the relatively recent founding of each state, Manuel looks at the salient points from their respective histories that “frame how they see their place and approach relations with the world.” Each endured painful episodes of colonial history, leaving them wary of Western powers. China still wrestles with Confucianism and India with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Where the Communist Party in China is supreme, with current leader Xi Jinping “a son of the Chinese Revolution in every way,” the Indian democracy has been largely dominated by the Nehru-Gandhi clan of the left-leaning populist Indian National Congress party, now superseded by the capitalist and openly Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party under its current leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chapter by chapter, Manuel walks through the factors involved in the rise of each power, such as the harnessing of cheap, plentiful labor toward massive capital for investments, however hindered by an aging population in China and a lack of basic infrastructure and education in India. Both are faced with enormous environmental degradation, and thus it is in the American interest to urge reliance on cleaner manufacturing and more sophistication. While India is not interested in a “horse race” with China, it will soon be the world’s third-largest economy, and its democracy will make an important counterweight to political oppression in China.
Clearly laid out motivation for harmonious future relations with China and India.