Choices usually involve a price, but people persist in believingEven if the US weren't trying to build an encircling mesh of alliances against China, it would have been difficult to "build space" for the Indians and the Chinese to both emerge peacefully in the world system. Unfortunately, that's exactly what the US is trying to do, so we're stuck with it. The net result is that the relationship between two nuclear powers with 3 billion people between them is getting frostier by the day.
that they can avoid paying it. That's what the Indian government thought when it joined the American alliance system in Asia in 2005, but now the price is clear: China is claiming the whole Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, some 83,000 sq. km. (32,000 sq. mi.) of mountainous territory in the eastern Himalayas containing over a million people....
A year ago, Indian foreign policy specialists were confident that they could handle China's reaction to their American deal. In fact, many of them seemed to believe that they had taken the Americans to the cleaners: that India would reap all the technology and trade benefits of the US deal without paying any price in terms of its relationship with its giant neighbour to the north.
I wasn't particularly looking to see the Bollywood remake of Doctor Strangelove. Were you?