India neither ‘balancer’ or ‘challenger’ to China in Indo-Pacific: Aussie think-tank

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 May 2020, 23:03 GMT]
“India’s economic dependence on China, and its recent protectionist response, limits its ability to act as a balancer or challenger to China in the Indo-Pacific,” argues Dr Priya Chacko, the senior lecturer in International Politics at the University of Adelaide. The author who specialises in the politics, political economy and foreign policy of India, and the geopolitics and geoeconomics of the Indo-Pacific, in a briefing published through a think-tank, urges other governments “to take heed of these constraints when forming expectations of India’s role in the region”. The briefing paper titled “India’s economic dependence on China and Indo-Pacific integration”, was published by Perth USAasia Centre on 05 May 2020.

India is increasingly economically dependent upon China, due to structural weaknesses, in several key sectors, and this is particularly visible in areas such as pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, the author argues.

Although New Delhi is fully aware of the dependence on China and had officially flagged them as security concerns, the challenged have continued unabated.

“Indian companies accounted for 51 percent of mobile phone sales in 2015, but they were heavily dependent on imported components from China. By 2019, Chinese companies had captured over 70 percent of the market,” Priya Chacko points out.

The liberalisation of the Indian economy in the 1990s led to the rise of private sector-led Indian pharmaceutical companies, which are now coupled into global supply chains. These companies are heavily dependent on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) from China. APIs are the biologically active components of drug products.

At the same time, New Delhi’s protectionist response to China’s increasing influence in its economy “will likely further hinder India’s integration with and position within the Indo-Pacific region,” Chacko argues.

Priya Chacko is the author of “Indian Foreign Policy: The Politics of Postcolonial Identity from 1947 to 2004”.

External Links:
APO: India’s economic dependence on China and Indo-Pacific integration



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