India swings like a pendulum between China and US

India is caught in a geo-strategic chess game between China and the US. China has been mounting pressure on India since early May by deploying large numbers of troops along the border in Ladakh. Meanwhile the US is also exerting pressure on India for its own strategic aims.

All in all, India is losing its strategic autonomy; thus it behaves like a pendulum by simultaneously agreeing with the US and China.

A few significant events support this notion. First is the text of the Sino-Indian joint statement issued after the meeting on September 10 between Indian External Affairs Minister Subramanyam Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The first item of the joint statement says, “Both sides should take guidance from the series of consensus of the leaders on developing India-China relations, including not allowing differences to become disputes.” This reflects that India has agreed to the Chinese demand to abide by the agreements and consensus reached previously between the countries’ leaders.

The next thing to consider is the separate statements issued by India and the US regarding a virtual 2+2 virtual meeting between the joint secretaries of the External Affairs Ministry and Defense Ministry of India and their respective US counterparts, the State Department and Defense Department, the day after the Jaishankar-Wang meeting.

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