INDIA: ON BALANCING CHINA
Kapur, S. Paul
Wirtz, James J.
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This thesis assesses whether India will be a reliable security partner for the United States in our efforts to manage the rise of China. U.S. grand strategy since World War Two has centered around maintaining and expanding a rules-based international order that globally promotes democratic governments, international institutions, human rights, and open markets. The prospect for a power transition threatens to disrupt the U.S.-led order. As China rises, the United States will depend on partners and alliances to help preserve the status quo, especially in the maritime domain. As the world’s largest democracy and one of the fastest-growing economies, India could play a decisive role in determining the future balance of power. Through depth-analysis of case studies, this thesis analyzed whether India decided to balance or bandwagon when China challenged India along its borders to include Tibet, Kashmir, and Doklam; threatened intervention during wars with Pakistan; acquired nuclear weapons; and expanded into the Indian Ocean Region. This thesis proved that, each time China presented India with a major security challenge, India has chosen to balance. The thesis concludes that, as a long-term investment, the United States should enhance its partnerships with India to balance against China’s rise.
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