Will India and China Escape the Thucydides’ Trap?


About 10 days after the U.S. House of Representatives’ Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, India finally broke its studied silence over both the trip and China’s consequent unprecedented military exercises and live-fire air and sea drills that encircled Taiwan, heralding the onset of the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis. On August 12, while answering questions on these recent developments in the Taiwan Strait as part of a weekly media briefing at the Ministry of External Affairs, India’s Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, without naming any parties, urged exercising restraint and avoiding unilateral actions to change the status quo, so as to de-escalate tensions and maintain peace and stability in the region.

Even as no loud official proclamation was expected, the supposedly non-descript nature of India’s statement was in keeping with the prevalent regional provocation-averse ethos vis-à-vis China. Even the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers’ statement on the cross-strait development, while warning about the “unpredictable consequences” of “open conflicts” and “miscalculations” between major powers, reiterated each member’s support for its respective “One China” policy. However, India’s short, yet stern, statement was marked by its refusal to abide by Beijing’s call to reiterate the “One China” policy, simply because India’s “relevant” policies are “well-known and consistent.”


You can read the full article on The Diplomat’s website.

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