Under President Xi Jinping, China has grown more militaristic, aggressive, and hostile, however, India will be one key to countering China, reported Washington Examiner.
“The United States increasingly supports Taiwan and bolsters Australia’s defence capabilities, but ignoring India will likely condemn any counter-China strategy to failure. Of the 14 countries that border China (21 if maritime boundaries are included), India is the only one that holds its own militarily,” said Michael Rubin in an opinion piece for Washington Examiner.
India is the most important bulwark against China for two other reasons. First, it is now the world’s most populated country.
By the end of the century, however, China’s population will only be 42 per cent of what it is now, according to the Shanghai Academy of Social Science. Demographers believe India’s population will peak in 2047 but still be twice the size of China’s in 2100, Rubin said.
This demographic reality has an immediate impact on army morale and capabilities. Every Chinese soldier is an only child. His Indian counterpart, on average, has three brothers or sisters, he added.
The second reason is often taboo in open discussion: Taiwanese and perhaps even Australian fortitude is questionable. Taiwan has become Exhibit A in the effect of cyber and influence operations.
Taiwan information warfare specialists have documented how China has leveraged TikTok and WeChat to direct specific propaganda to soften, if not turn, an entire generation. Chinese bots amplify views and like on pro-China propaganda to monetize those videos that take an approved line. Younger Taiwanese either do not care or fall unaware into the incentive trap, reported Washington Examiner.
“So, while the US and the United Kingdom work to bolster Australia’s defence, a smaller investment in India could pay greater dividends in case a war ever erupts,” Rubin said.
If the White House is serious about countering China, it is time to include India in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, regardless of Pakistan’s whining. India might also use support with metallurgy, the key to advanced gas turbine engines. Washington might also help advance India’s nuclear propulsion systems, he added.