South Asia and Beyond

U.S. Has Blundered Into Geopolitical Contest With China: Kishore Mahbubani

NEW DELHI: Without a comprehensive long-term strategy, it’s unwise for the United States to have launched a major geopolitical contest against China, says noted academic and former diplomat Kishore Mahbubani. Speaking to StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale, Mahbubani, who is Distinguished Fellow, Asia Research Institute, The National University of Singapore, says China, which is experiencing the most resurgent phase in its history, is a far more formidable competitor that the U.S. has ever had. Invoking George Keenan, former American diplomat and key Cold War strategist, Mahbubani says the U.S. isn’t following any of Keenan’s key pieces of advice, such as ‘cultivate friends and allies’ and ‘be humble’. Mahbubani, who is of Indian origin, feels the country can do remarkably well in the long run if it opens up its economy the way China did. Indians are among the post competitive peoples in the world; give them any environment and they will do well, he says.

Nitin A. Gokhale

Author, thought leader and one of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Nitin A. Gokhale has forty years of rich and varied experience behind him as a conflict reporter, Editor, author and now a media entrepreneur who owns and curates two important digital platforms, and focusing on national security, strategic affairs and foreign policy matters. At the beginning of his long and distinguished career, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years, writing and analysing various insurgencies in the region, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 during the India-Pakistan war, and also brought live reports from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009. Author of over a dozen books on wars, insurgencies and conflicts, Gokhale relocated to Delhi in 2006, was Security and Strategic Affairs Editor at NDTV, a leading Indian broadcaster for nine years, before launching in 2015 his own digital properties. An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, South and South-East Asia to speak at various international seminars and conferences. Gokhale also teaches at India’s Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the intelligence schools of both the R&AW and Intelligence Bureau. He tweets at @nitingokhale



  • Thanks for this interview… as I noted on social media “Indian scholar (in Singapore) calling for U.S-China detente, a note of sobriety and realism in international relations (and therefore not taken seriously here in the USA – a shame).

  • Excellent talk, valid arguments and enlightening issues . Loved listening Nitin . Thanks .

  • Kishore is known bootlicker of totalitarian regime. He shamelessly defends lawless regime and uses twisted logic to justify their tactics.

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