Author(s): Radhey Sham Sharma and Dr. Shakshi Mehta
Abstract: A major problem in India’s foreign policy is its illusion that it is somehow competing with China. We are certainly a budding rival of China, the only one with sufficient physical size and population to offset its power. But we are a long way from actualizing the potential. In the meantime, we urgently need a strategy to do so. Because of the enormous difference in economic and military power between India and China, what we need are asymmetrical means of dealing with Beijing. We have substantial soft-power assets, but those can only be effective together with the real currency of hard power cash and exportable military goods. The broad thrust of India’s foreign policy remains is legitimate and worthwhile. But what is needed is retrenchment and focus. We cannot take on China across the-board. Our South Asian neighbourhood is a priority, and Modi’s outreach to the Persian Gulf has great value because that is the most important external region for India.