India will have to undertake smart diplomacy and see through many different balancing acts for dealing with regional conflicts. Examine in context with South-Asia.

Published: June 23, 2019

A radical transformation is underway in the geopolitics of the South Asian region. US stands challenged by both China and Russia in its geopolitical landscape as both are confronting the US pre-eminence in the region and drafting of many small nations of the region into their bandwagon. The region is faced with unbalanced multipolarity in a combination of a situation of the transition of power in the region. China has taken on a more dominating role in the region with the regional pivot of the US turning into history. It is shaping the regional geopolitics stretching from Iran to Central Asia and spanning the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. Another vital factor plaguing the region is the apparent trust-deficit between different states like India and Pakistan, India and China, Iran and India, etc. It is this drop in trust along with other prominent factors like unresolved conflicts, can potentially push the region into further conflict. Also, the growing risk of a military conflict between US and Iran which may involve many other nations if triggered, border skirmishes between India and Pakistan and also the US-China Trade War has further destabilised the region. India thus has to play its balancing act well in order to tide over this growing uncertainty. It can begin by balancing its closeness with US in order not to provoke China. The next important balancing will have to be in the West-Asia where it will have to consider its energy interests with Iran and at the same time not alienate US, Saudi Arabia and Israel. It has to further deal with the new regional partnerships like China and Russia in addition to the growing ties between Pakistan and Russia. It does need to employ smart diplomacy by balancing out well without getting caught in any whirlwind.

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