As U.S.-Russia and U.S.-China rivalries intensify in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, where does South Asia stand? And how will its choices impact the Global South’s relations with the United States?
South Asia (especially India) has a rich history of articulating the case for the Global South through the Nonaligned Movement and the G77 grouping, and later through its elevated economic growth story. But Washington’s intensifying rivalry with Beijing has drawn starkly different responses in the region. While India and the United States both see China as a rival, Pakistan is a de facto ally of Beijing recently seeking to diversify its partnerships, and smaller South Asian states are caught in the middle. On Russia however, South Asia takes a much more benign view as indicated by recent votes at the U.N. on the Ukraine conflict. The Biden administration’s view of an existential struggle of “democracies against autocracies” finds few takers in the region. South Asia must also play its part in combating the threat of climate change, in which the United States has an abiding interest.
To unpack all these issues and more, the Quincy Institute presents a conversation between eminent strategic thinker — and former Indian National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary — Shivshankar Menon and QI’s Director of Studies Sarang Shidore.