This one now to top it all. Indo-china competition is nothing new. From a full blown war to differences that span from border issues to space technology, tension certainly isn’t new between the two countries. But unlike the constant tension that underlies every venture with Pakistan, (cricket or hockey or resumption of bus-travel ties) Indians are as a rule, more cautious in their dealings with China with neither side openly hostile. Indeed, in recent times, economic reasons have brought the two countries closer, and a day may yet come when the subcontinent is not a three-way tug-of-war.

But that day is not today. China’s strengths lie in its massive industrial growth in recent years and its huge but cautiously open market that Western investors have started banking on. India has however concenterated its efforts into improving its “information technology” initiatives, and with an advantage in having a massively English-literate population, it is far ahead of China in second tier backends often so much so that some American states had to have new legislation prohibiting outsourcing of jobs. Information technology, however, cannot feed everybody’s mouths and India’s industrial initiatives are far from even being labeled “satisfactory.”

As an Indian, I do have something to add. We have our strengths, but there are always stronger people around. Trying to boss around others (as somebody is doing right now) may not always work. There are a lot of Indians I know who think that we should be the undisputed power in this region of the world. I, for one, do not mind playing second fiddle. To China, to Pakistan, or to any other country which happens to come by. As long as our interests are preserved, false pride should be thrown out the window.

There’s idealism and then there is politics. While I admire many of our foreign policies right now, I do not know how long India will have so an open, considerate government. India does have the power to bully a lot of countries, I just hope it doesn’t do so.

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