NEW DELHI: The burst of activity in Indian foreign policy requires sustained attention because the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will remain relentless, says South Asia analyst Professor Sumit Ganguly, adding, there is a “strategic design to counter the efforts of the PRC. These are not just idiosyncratic moves on the part of the government.” He spoke to StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi on National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s trilateral Sri Lanka-Maldives-India meeting in Colombo, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar’s Bahrain, UAE and Seychelles visits, Foreign Secretary Harsh V. Shringla’s Nepal, Maldives, Myanmar and Europe trips, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s interaction with his Vietnamese counterpart, the Quad and India-U.S. 2+2 meetings. “These shouldn’t be mere flashes in the pan,” the Distinguished Professor at Indiana University pointed out “because the PRC is not about to go away. It has the great advantage of far more financial and military resources and is not above bribery.”
Professor Ganguly, who holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University, Bloomington, said President-elect Joe Biden has a “clear understanding that China is a strategic competitor to the United States and he will treat it as such, not as a cooperative partner anytime in the foreseeable future.” Biden, he added, “has no illusions about Pakistan, since he was privy to the highest levels of intelligence and was in the Situation Room during the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden”. In Professor Ganguly’s assessment “Pakistan’s importance is steadily declining because “even the Biden administration is not going to sustain a substantial troop presence in Afghanistan”.