As in the Cold War, so in the current power play between the United States and China, the rest of Asia will simply not submit itself to the discipline of a bipolar framework. Asia will actively shape and be shaped by the emerging strategic dynamic between Washington and Beijing.
Asia is home to many large states that are wedded to nationalism and territorial sovereignty, opposed to local ambitions for regional hegemony,committed to a measure of autonomy from the great powers, and determined to promote greater economic integration with each other. These are competing imperatives that do not sit well with each other but do define the contradictory nature of Asia’s rise.
One of these important regional powers is India—the third largest economy in Asia, and the fourth biggest spender on defense in the Indo-Pacific after the United States, China and Japan.