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Welcome Trend


Experts are attributing the absence of leaders like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping from the coming G20 Summit to their inability to counter criticism, however much couched in diplomatic niceties, of their belligerence towards neighbouring countries. It is becoming increasingly difficult to justify what’s happening in Ukraine, or the claims made by China on other nations’ territories. It may be easy when it is one-sided, as in the case of the Chinese Diplomat lecturing the Nepalese on India’s nastiness, but not so much on an international forum where embarrassing counters may immediately result. Putin and Jinping are used to getting others to do their dirty work for them, but when it comes to making a personal impression, they have proven quite inadequate.

It becomes all the more difficult when Prime Minister Modi expresses the mood of the world when he says ‘this is not the time for war’. They have no answer for such a statement, particularly in a public setting. At every international summit of nations’ groups, Modi never fails to reiterate the ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ theme, as well as the need for developing nations to cooperate with each other on a basis of equality for the well-being of all. Slowly but surely, this approach is beginning to make an impact and encouraging nations to cooperate and build on their own strengths, rather than under the ‘patronage’ of one or the other great power. The latest ‘coloniser’ has been China, which has spent its newly found wealth on creating dependence among other countries through projects funded by it. Africa is a good example of the contrasting styles of development assistance provided by China and India.

This difference reflects the forms of governance in the two countries. Being a democratic nation, India promotes self-reliance, a cooperative approach, appropriate technology, which leads to creation of employment opportunities for locals. China adopts the colonial approach of ‘controlling’ project sites, bringing in its own workers, dictating to local governments and entrapping them in debt. Its goal is different – not the well-being of the locals, just the extension of its sphere of influence. The people of Pakistan are suffering the consequences in a big way.

Increasingly, therefore, the democratically inclined countries are coming together on multi-lateral platforms, while Russia and China are getting further isolated. The US has finally overcome its insecurities about India and is working on becoming a reliable ally on many fronts. This is surely a welcome trend, auguring well for the future.