Power is the key component of international politics, it plays a vital role in conducting of relations among nations, every nation tries to seek ,preserve and promote national interest on the basis of national power and this national power has multiple faces , on the basis of same power one country tries to impose its hegemony on other countries through different tactics of diplomacy and strategy to win its support or to force any state to kneel down and surrender or sometimes dictate its own terms that global power asks to miniature state to follow and obey ,it is a secondary question whether that country likes it or not or whether that country resist it or not it depends upon the nature of the reaction of that state like the 40 years sanctions on Iranian nation has affected adversely its economic relations with other nations and killing of military General Qasim Soleimani can be cited as classical example that we can cite here the role of hegemony that America is playing at international arena.
Power is the key component of international politics, it plays a vital role in conducting of relations among nations, every nation tries to seek , preserve and promote national interest on the basis of national power and this national power has multiple faces , on the basis of same power one country tries to impose its hegemony on other countries through different tactics of diplomacy and strategy to win its support or to force any state to kneel down and surrender or sometimes dictate its own terms that global power asks to miniature state to follow and obey ,it is a secondary question whether that country likes it or not or whether that country resist it or not it depends upon the nature of the reaction of that state like the 40 years sanctions on Iranian nation has affected adversely its economic relations with other nations and killing of military General Qasim Soleimani can be cited as classical example that we can cite here the role of hegemony that America is playing at international arena. Here I am not going for lexical meanings of national power and interest but the most recent changes and challenges to security in the context of new world order and the beginning of new era that Chinese president XI Jingping declares that , “China has taken centre stage in the world”, and the ongoing crisis like intrusion of china into the border of India and the statement of US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo that USA is, “ reviewing its global deployment of forces to ensure ,it is postured appropriately to counter the PLA ,given the increasing threat by China to Asian countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and India’s approach to Russia for providing of new defence equipments to strengthen its hard power as many referred to it that India is facing now security dilemma that china poses for it.
From new world order to new era:- There can be hardly anyone who has not heard of “new world order” when it comes to global politics ,academic debates and discussions, critical and political analysis with related to it, here I am not going to discuss the “new world order” but to explain it briefly in order to show how this “new world order” is similar to “new era” but with different facets. The term “new world order “has been used to denote that phase of history which witnessed dramatic and rapid changes in world politics and the global order. This term has been frequently used by many in various similar languages since the end of the first world war and more recently this phrase “new world order” was widely debated and discussed at the end the post-cold war with the disintegration of second world and first gulf war and former American president George H.W.Bush used this term to define the nature of post-cold war era led by hegemony of USA all over the globe as its opposite pole fell like house of cards , the bi-polar system now replaced by uni-polar system and the Gulf war of 1991 was witnessed and viewed as the first test of new world order with the demonstration of high tech “smart and computer warfare technology ” with Iraq and dominance of USA as a police state of the globe unilaterally handling all the matters through hard, soft and structural power of the nation.
Now what is “new era” and how it is similar to “new world order.” We know very well, when it comes to global politics the behavior of state is always conditioned and governed by its national interests, that nations seek to secure and protect its interests in relation with other nations that is what America did under the phenomena of “new world order” by using all the possible ways to detect other state from harming their interest and to bring other states closer under its ambit and to order them what to do under their purview. Same is now doing China when its president Xi-Jingpin unveiled a vision for a “new era” where China takes center stage in the global world, while outlining his vision for national rejuvenation echoing this idea about the Chinese dream of lifting their nation to higher levels of prosperity in all its aspects to place “Chinese first” as American foreign policy used to go on the same parallel line by placing “Americans first”. In common parlance , we can say that the “new era “ of china is going to work in a same way of signalling to his rivals to show them valour and stature of challenging by consolidating its grip on national power while being a world’s second largest economy and to act as an alternative power to US hegemony by providing aid and investment to many countries throughout globe and to get full backing and support from such nations to promote their national interests by placing their country as “Chinese first” is the main motive of “new era of Chinese” to reshape the global politics and its world order formerly designed and defined by US hegemony .
The American state used the new world order to shape and reshape the global affairs in their favour through politics and diplomacy by applying different strategies , somewhere through aid diplomacy and investment and somewhere through military intervention same is to be believed now china is doing to shape and reshape the global politics in their favour.
The Chinese new era is compared with new world order of America and now china is even blamed for manufacturing virus that it created to reshape the politics and destabilize the previous global order , Donald Trump even called corona virus as “Kung Flu” and “the Chinese virus” that has deepened the deteriorated relations between China and America. This corona virus drives the U.S. and China deeper into global power struggle where America is accusing China that it has manufactured the virus to reshape the global politics and power alliances to start of the “Chinese new era” to create hegemony and dominance and the two world powers are heading into a new cold war.
High politics and low politics:- Politics plays an important role in shaping and reshaping the policies of the nation whether national policies or international policies for this purpose the politics is categorized into two aspects “high politics and low politics.” High politics covers the areas and objectives of “security and survival” that has been given priority, privilege and preference over the “low politics” that covers the internal economics and social affairs of any nation. The external aspect of politics is more focused than internal aspect when it comes to the security and survival of the nation.
Due to the changing nature of relationship between the states at global level, the nature of politics has also been tremendously changed over many decades keeping in view that states always act through and seek towards the securing of maximum power to secure and protect their national interest while strengthening the national power that has given rise to many conflicts and security dilemma at global level, Security dilemma is one of main concern of every nation /state that we have recently seen how even well balanced nation like India having enough military strength and even being a nuclear country has concern for its security when the miniature standoff and military skirmish took place between India and China over Galwaan valley in Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir ) that is still going on even though they conducted many high level military official meetings and many rounds of talks yet the issue has not been resolved and they have not reached any conclusive and conducive agreement. In nutshell “Security dilemma” means , when a particular state or nation seeks to ensure its own security by acquiring weapons and other means , it invariably fuels the insecurity of other states , this spiral of insecurity thus unleashed is called security dilemma, you can view and observe it while having a glimpse on the past chapters of international relations or global politics when the cold war was going on between first and second world or we can observe it now between the China and India or you can see it through the prism of Iran versus Israel , so this security dilemma can be viewed in any corner where states think they are put in a situation where their interests and security is in danger or threatened.
The standoff between India and China gave rise to many different hypothesis when it comes to security and survival of the nation and maintenance of alliance with strong powers and building new alliance and updating military infrastructure, arm race etc besides it, the weakness of disarmament agreements could be well observed not implemented in letter and spirit. Now a days we are witnessing that every state struggles for more and more power, so far that purpose every state tries to increase its power through developing , manufacturing, testing and through buying of arms that has created insecurity and security dilemma and in this situation armed states have an advantage over disarmed states ,arm race would only lead to insecurity ,especially in the nuclear age where almost every nuclear state has capability for “SAD” (similar assured destruction) and “MAD” (mutual assured destruction) situations that can create a nuclear winter that can push us to stone ages.
The recent outbreak of virus whose epicenter was wuhaan in China exposed almost every country that how much efficient and priority they have given to “ low politics” which stands for the economic affairs and well being of the people by managing their social affairs like healthcare system ,education etc .The corona virus outbreak exposed many well developed countries like USA, Itlay, Germany and many other western countries whose examples were given to cite their development and model of governance when it comes to welfare and wellbeing of the public but even such countries couldn’t handle the virus very well and they fell very impotent to control the virus and even due to such impotency they let their people die when the virus went out of the control , this proved well, the countries who were having enough weapons of mass destruction but not having well developed and updating health care system or strategy to save the common masses so here we can’t even speak of developing , under developing countries and least developing countries who lag far behind in such facilities. This corona virus also posed a great threat to internal security , even though globalization is seen as blessings and brought many positive vibes of change and transformation in trade and commerce and visible signs of global interconnectedness in our lives today but this globalization has also paved a route to travel global viruses and diseases far and wide that can pose also a challenging threat for any such country which has not well developed infrastructure to tackle such global threats also , so it is equally important that we must have safe modes for both to tackle and handle well both internal and external security as the concepts of security is now facing new dimensions of stink threats .
Thus high politics and low politics has equal roles to play, if low politics could be utilized for the welfare and egalitarian society in devising the national politics , the same nation or state can also play an important and significant role for cosmopolitan peace and security through high politics .
The recent standoff between India and China:
The recent standoff which is still going between India and China over Galwaan valley of Ladakh proved once more that the arm race is not going to end, rather the hunger for military power fuels the insecurity and arm race as well, arm race creates the possibility of war and thwarts cooperation,peace and boosts occupation and endanger humanity and peace of the globe. We are now witnessing how India is approaching USA and Russia for buying arms to strengthen its military power to tackle with china and to equalize its military strength to its arch rival neighbouring country China, there have been many agreements between India and China not to escalate any extreme situation but the recent standoff that is still going on between India and China shows no improvement to deescalate and disengage their forces on its border. This move of China was seen by many as “Chinas new era” where it is openly and stubbornly challenging the nuclear power like India and China is no more in a mood to say “ Yes to yes’s” but in return China is blamed by Indian government that it is a deliberate move where China is now openly laying its hand on Indian territories by calming its own territory and even China is also blamed that it is instigating other Indian neighbouring countries to provoke them against India and through investment China is now buying other countries by providing them aid and investment policies to halt the Indian extension and influence in those countries like Nepal where the Chinese government has pumped $ 8 billion investment , Bhutan , Sri Lanka and more recent with Iran where china promised to invest $ 400 billion and is going to build a new alliance lead by China against India across the Asian continent and around the globe equally . India’s huge investment in Afghanistan also didn’t yield the desired results and the road that was going to connect India and Afghanistan through Chabahar, that dream of India has also been dashed to earth This move of China is compared with America, when after the end of second world war America started to provide aid diplomacy and investment policies in many western European countries to win their support and to instigate them against the Soviet Union to deter their sphere of influence in which many plans and doctrines were suggested by American administration and politicians to halt the Soviet union influence and expansionist policies in western Europe as well as in Eastern Europe.
Failure of Diplomacy:
The growth of modern nuclear weapons with its far reaching disastrous effects has not left any way to solve any problem through wars , rather the diplomacy plays an important role in such a situation where the states are more or less equally dangerous to each other when it comes to waging a war and to win over each other.
The nuclear weapons are so deadly that its threatened destructiveness is considered crucial. The weapons are novel and abstract and everything depends upon them .The problem is complicated by the immense destructiveness of weapons and the rapid change of technology ,even a highly efficient defensive system may not be able to prevent catastrophic damage this is where the diplomacy has greater role to play to deter such situations which lead to escalation of extreme situations to deescalate them , the role of diplomacy in preserving the entire human society is greater today, than ever before.
Is the banning of Chinese apps enough to deter Chinese intrusion inside Indian Territory? The answer is no , as many claim it was “digital strike” of Modi on China but rather I can say it is diplomatic failure under Modi rule that has paved a way in prolonging the crisis between China and India in deescalating the standoff that took place at Galwaan valley in Ladakh which even lead to skirmish between the armies of two countries that resulted in death of more than twenty Indian soldiers and how far the banning of Chinese apps will effect such a country which was the tenth largest economy of the world in 1978 when Indian economy wasn’t even liberalized and today china is second largest in world economy so to what extent banning of Chinese apps are going to effect and undermine Chinese economy I may say that Modi has no experience in international diplomacy he has failed in pursuing the political and economic objectives through diplomatically. He lacks a vision of value creation in the pursuit of mutual benefits. Integrative negotiations should be the mantra of diplomacy bargaining leverage misses the bus in several of Modi’s diplomatic attempts .Modi is unable to understand who can be a better strategic partner in bilateral and multilateral relationships.
The recent crisis going on with neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, Srilanka ,China has invited wide spread criticism to Modi’s mode of diplomacy and the more recent move when Iran dropped India from Chabahar rail project added fuel to the fire and also nail in the coffin of Indian diplomacy , few years back ,India was importing oil from Iran at less prices and without shipping charges and extending credit period , but since the India started to import oil from USA that too at expensive prices, that lead to more inflation in India. India’s influence is declining in every nook and corner of its surrounding neighbours as China is aggressively trying to establish and develop economic connectivity across the Asian continent to reshape the geo-political strategy both in Asia and across the globe that can pose new threats and challenges to Indian survival and security in futures as India has utterly failed diplomatically to handle such issues as military solution is no way a conducive option left to pursue the economic and political objectives for the promotion of its national interest as Rahul Ghandhi has said, while addressing the congress working committee , that there has been a “ complete and total “ failure of diplomacy under the Modi governemt .
Major states plays an important role in shaping and reshaping of politics, especially the states who has lion’s share in shaping the global politics and equally the minor states also plays an important role in backing and providing support to these major powers while through building an alliance, the major and minor states acts as a billiard ball , however it must be keep in view that all billiard balls are not same size that is why there have been changes in power balancing when it comes to international politics , as it is necessary for every state to maintain its security and survival through different strategies, it is not always possible to go for military options for major states especially those with high tech warfare technology and not even conducive for smaller states who even couldn’t afford to maintain its low politics , that is why diplomacy has greater role to play in pursuing national interest as in past time many states both major and minor adopted the detente and preventive diplomatic approaches when it comes to pursuing of national interest in global politics and maintaining of power balance.
Sarfaraz Amin is a Kashmiri political analyst contributing his analysis and opinion for Wilayat Times is currently pursuing research in political science in DBU –University.