Article by Shantanu K. Bansal
The present voting trends in the U.S. provides clear way for Biden to the President’s house. The historic 2020 US elections were not just a test for the future of US rather the very future of the world politics.
Besides the President’s Trump extreme efforts to put the house in the order from recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; questioning the very authenticity of the international organizations like the UNHRC, the issue of citizenship and the most important of all making China almost untouchable in the international arena.
His policies were very direct for someone it seems harsh but atleast he didn’t bother to let things go out of hands to those things which world finds expensive to deal with in the long term. Not in the recent history of the US, any president has shown this much of guts to ensure things doesn’t go out of hands.
As the Biden come, he shall probably try to impose his liberal opinions on the world politics which has remained not so liberal so far. In order to impress the Pacifist in the US and abroad he shall realign his relationship with China, although with some exceptions.
Wasting everything that the US had gained in isolating China in today’s world politics and further harming the momentum of Quad and the overall anti-China sentiments. If Biden seems comfortable to follow this path it is not only harmful for the US itself but of greater harm to the future world order.
The Trump legacy shall be lost and China will get greater space to flex its muscles and it shall again start bullying not just the neighbouring countries which it is inclined to but rather continue challenging the whole international order.
“Instead of a clear electoral mandate to help heal the political rift, the U.S. appears to have emerged more divided and polarized from the presidential and congressional elections. America’s biggest weakness is its bitterly divisive politics, which fosters debilitating polarization,” Brahma Chellany, a leading columnist notes.
Now how come one nation’s election can decide the faith of future world politics? US has since 1991 led a unipolar world but as the time passed many regional powers emerged. Starting from countries in the East called the Tiger Economies to countries like India and China in the recent times. Many thanks to the trend of globalisation and capitalism which US has consistently banked upon.
However, China has emerged as the greatest raising power when compared to all other emerging powers. So much so that it seems apparently clear that by 2040 China would be replacing US has the world’s No.1 economy.
At least in short term it seems that Biden policies will be more inclined to what it was in Obama’s period and almost opposite to what it was in Trump’s term as the President. This is the classic way the democratic countries work around the world.
However what is required is almost opposite. In order to halt the China rise, ‘a strong’ rather ‘a pacifist’ US policies would have save the day and establish the status quo in the Pacific region and beyond. The region is already getting into grapples of the dragon’s claws. Here no country has got guts to challenge China rise without the very close alignment with the US as it was achieved during the President’s Trump term.
On the other hand another news strike the world media hard, its authenticity is still to be verified but as per some media houses President of Russia Valdmir Putin is going to resign next year in January. If it’s true it’s seems another landslide moment for the world politics but on ground nothing shall change as such even if new president gets appointed. The Russian policy shall remain the same as it was.
As a short termist thought, probably the Russian President shall continue to align with China and also try to retain long-time friend India which has been seen shifting to US block amid China’s rise, as what Putin has been doing but again this policy will have no repurcrations for China.
Hence, more effective space for the China to maneuver with Russia-China relations improving along with US-China relations stabilising under the Biden administration.
What for India?
“Trump was good for world peace. He didn’t start a war anywhere, which is not something that can be said for most of his predecessors,” observes Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
The trump policy ensured significant halt on South Asian China challenge. The foreign policy establishments of the US under the Trump administration actively engaged the South Asian countries which were seeing aligning with the China be as part of BRI project or the genuine attraction for China in the region.
The Trump administration on global stage was seen at the forefront to challenge growing China might from the issue of questioning China’s habit of stealing technologies and controlling the growing challenge of debt trap diplomacy to even raising issues related to Hong Kong’s stability and Tibet’s autonomy.
It’s hard to believe as of now that Biden administration will follow the Trump’s footsteps and straightaway challenge the China rise as it used to be under the Trump administration. If it’s true, in long term it shall prove to be unsustainable. Therefore, it’s better that Biden follow the Trump’s legacy at least when dealing with China affairs.
Otherwise, India may won the tactical grounds at Galwan but due to possible US hesitation under the Biden administration, India will have very limited space to maneuver on strategic grounds as it lacks the resources and acumen to take on China on the international front.
The Biden win, Trump loss and Russian apathy seem to be the greatest loss to India’s prospects to even emerge as a regional power forgot the global stage ahead. It’s high time Mr. Modi takes his slogan of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ more seriously because the future seems grim, we can best bank upon our capabilities to swim the tides of the future challenges across all domains of national power.