News

Asia Foundation Proposes Cooperation 'Triangle' for US, China, India

A call for the establishment of a diplomatic "triangle of cooperation" - among the United States, India and China - is receiving a mixed reception at its unveiling in New Delhi.  

The influential Asia Foundation has rolled out its recommendations for the Obama administration's policy towards India.  And, one key suggestion is hitting a log jam.

It is the call for three-way cooperation among Washington, New Delhi and Beijing. Proponents say such an effort will be essential to helping solve such thorny regional issues as instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The proposal, put forward by a task force of distinguished academics and diplomats, is in a chapter authored by former American Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Karl Inderfurth.

"There have been some who have suggested that our approach to India and our strengthening of relations has been part of a containment of China - a hedge against China's  rise," he said.  "I think this would be a grave mistake.  I know my Indian colleagues and friends would not want to be involved, in any way, shape or fashion, of a containment policy against China.  We need to engage both countries on their own merits and find ways that we can work together."

The "cooperative triangle" is one of seven points for Indo-American relations put forth in a volume of policy recommendations, titled "America's Role in Asia," being released this week by the Asia Foundation.

The other six recommendations proposed:  strengthening strategic ties;  doubling two-way trade over the next several years;  a broader nuclear dialogue;  allowing  American universities to operate in India;  support by Washington for a permanent Indian seat on U.N. Security Council;  and, collaboration to stabilize Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The set of proposals earned a quick endorsement from the Indian prime minister's special envoy, Satinder Lambah.

"I fully agree with the seven-point agenda which has been given out by Karl Inderfurth," he said.  

Others here, however, are less optimistic about the quick realization of an equal diplomatic partnership involving India, China and the United States.

Former Indian Ambassador to the United State Naresh Chandra said Beijing needs to alter its regional diplomacy before there can be talk of an equitable three-way relationship.

"The Chinese moves in our neighborhood display a certain pattern, which is somewhat disturbing.  Their moves in Burma or with Pakistan;  there is a kind of encirclement [of India] approach which we hope will change, over time," he said.

Chandra, also a former Indian cabinet secretary, called China's "circle of friends" - including Burma, North Korea, Sudan and Zimbabwe - "not that honorable."

Alarming to some veteran Indian diplomats is what they perceive as a recent shift by China to a strident tone, after India concluded an unprecedented civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States, last year.

Former Indian National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra noted China's state-controlled think-tanks and media are reopening old wounds, thought healed by Indo-Sino diplomatic agreements.  These include the war between India and China, in 1962, and the sovereignty of two Indian states on Tibet's borders - Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh - where a significant percentage of the people follow Tibetan Buddhism.

"We have been reminded every other week about the humiliation we suffered in 1962. They keep on saying 'don't forget 1962.' … And there has been talk about China occupying what it calls southern Tibet, which is Arunachal Pradesh in India," said Mishra.

Mishra, a career diplomat, said India's government will be closely watching how President Obama formulates strategy towards China, hoping it will not adversely affect America's blossoming relationship with India. 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs