Asia’s Increasing Security Concerns: Special Focus on India-China
By Aditi Mukhopadhyay
In a globalised world system, the rising powers like India and China have in the recent times more and more focused on the maritime security in the Indian and Pacific Ocean region. As the thrust of power shifted from the West to the Asian countries there has been greater competitive focus on India and China.
The best way in which the emerging power tries, is to strike a conflict between the emerging powers and rightly so whereby both these emerging economies of Asia have been trying to prove their influence in the Indo-Pacific region. US have been backing India because of the assertive nature of China. Asian security to a great deal depends on security cooperation between India and China along with the United States, the world hegemonic power which has been influencing the Asian region to a great deal.
The major security challenges according to China in Asia have been its positioning in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula and also the nuclear issues of Iran.
The Korean Peninsula is the only area where the Cold War situation still persists. Adding to this,North Korea being equipped with missile power and nuclear power may add to the challenges to Asia’s peace and order. China has always been apprehensive that a third country such as the US may use Korea which is a neighbour of China, to challenge its security in the present times.
China has also been facing various conflicts in the South China Sea with various Southeast Asian countries, Russia, and India. It has been in confrontation with Philippines over the nine dash lines involving the Scarborough Shoal and the huge involvement of the UNCLOS to rule out China having conquered most of the territory. China having been an emerging power is trying to acquire its energy security in the South China Region, which has been the evidence of its possible increasing assertiveness, and influence in the South China Sea region. China wants to prevent Iran from showcasing its nuclear arms which may result in the increase in oil prices in the world market and would be a major challenge to Asian security and peace.
Cross border terrorism
India has been infested with security challenges which are no different from other Asian countries like that of South Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, and so on. Major points of concern for India has been its unresolved territorial disputes, terrorism, maintaining economic prosperity, procuring energy needs, and sovereignty issues. Indian has unpto date various sovereignty issues which had its roots from the times of British colonisation.
Having to deal with versatile ethnicity, language, culture, and religious preferences India is infested with various conflicts and issues internally which puts a challenge to its security needs. Moreover, it has serious territorial confrontations with Pakistan and China whereby Kashmir, Aksai Chin and so on form a major area of concerns. India has also been infested with ‘cross border terrorism’ where India has blamed Pakistan on mannt occasions. India had accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agencies for training, guiding and aiding terrorist attacks in the Indian territories. Moreover, India had also internal terrorist and anti-national groups such as Maoists and ULFA , which continuously threatens the internal security dynamic of the Indian security system.
Another critical concern for India is its economic development which is essential to reduce poverty in the country and provide basic needs. In addition, technological advancement is required for infrastructural development of the country. India is also in dire need of preventing its climate change strategies along with the Global Commons, and also to have greater access to energy pipelines to fulfil its energy needs. Such examples have been the TAPI pipelines.
Meanwhile, China has been a major security threat because of the possible emerging power and its assertive nature in the Asian region. Both these countries have overlooked common interests to build in a competitive relation between each other, which may prove to be a destroyer to Asian peace and security. China has been continuously increasing its naval capabilities in the Indian Ocean Region and both these countries have been at a standoff on various situations to avoid only an armed attack several times.
In the present scenario of the C COVID0-19 outbreak there have been greater suspicions and complete reconsideration of foreign policies of various countries with that of China. Adding to these the China-India standoff which occured in the Galwan valley has also added to the security challenges and threat to the Asian region.
The situations have been complicated as the thrust and responsibility of spreading the epidemic is directed towards China, as it was the country responsible for the viral disease. Along with India, the United States too has serious doubts about China,s intentions in this pandemic situation which has put the whole world order in serious turmoil. On the other hand, taking the lead for the COVID- l19, China has begun increasing is naval power and forces in the Indian Ocean region which have proved to be a major security concern for India.
India-China relations is a major yardstick to count on security issues of other Asian countries which have both traditional and non-traditional challenges to maintain stability, peace and security in the Asian region. Asian countries have been suffering from challenges of ethnic conflicts, territorial integrity, climate change issues, human rights and concerns of environmental protection.
Adding to these economic development and energy needs have always been the rising concerns in the Asian region. Asian region has been characterised by multifaceted security challenges and needs, which have remained unsolved at various instances. An all-inclusive peace, stability, and strategic approach is the need of the hour to resolve the security needs of the Asian region. Being the emerging powers of Asia, China and India should focus on common interest, bring about a climate of cooperation and peace rather than that of conflict and competition, and prevent the apprehensions of a possible armed conflict in this region.