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Fight or flight: Should India join the big 3 in their repeated efforts to call out and penalize China?

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As India battles to arrange as many PPE testing kits as they can, the US, Australia, and Japan are in desperate search of answers to how an advanced nation like China could not contain such a perilous disease even with numerous warnings by Chinese health officials. 

The ignorant actions of the Chinese government had a devastating impact on the global spread of the coronavirus. China notably lacked transparency and silenced those who raised their voices and wanted to warn the others about the impending coronavirus pandemic. Especially since China has supply chains extending to the entire world, there must be at least some form of transparency in their processes. Given these reasons, any country should raise legitimate questions and issues towards China.

As the US cases just crossed the one million mark, they have the most coronavirus cases in the globe. Their efforts to hold China accountable have begun for a long time, but the white house has not been bright on China’s penalties. Alongside China, the US is also accusing the WHO of having certain unique relations with China. Australia is also following suit while calling out China for its inaction. Unlike the US and Australia, Japan swiftly allocated $2.2 billion and initiated its plan to move its manufacturers from China back to Japan. Although Japan only had around 10,000 cases at the time, their response towards China was swift and fearless.

Meanwhile, India has over 100,000 cases, and the growth is not slowing down anytime soon. India and the USA have exchanged many acts of generosity with each other during the pandemic. A few weeks earlier, India effectively lifted its ban on the drug and shipped 35.82 Lakh tablets of Hydroxychloroquine to the USA. America has shipped 200 ventilators to India according to government sources as a gesture towards India’s generosity with the drug. 

As the cases in India crosses 100,000, China is starting to feel the heat, but Modi has not taken any substantial action towards China. It can be assumed that China remains crucially dominant in Asia and Africa after the coronavirus pandemic. With this in mind, India is the most influential country in the region to stand up to China. This is because India has an accessible location in Asia, a bright young workforce, and an enormous economy. And due to the previously stated relations between India and the USA, Trump could be the liberator of India. According to the former foreign secretary, Kanwal Sibal, “China needs to be targeted as the source of the virus. It cannot disown its responsibility by seeking to change the narrative under our very eyes about its origin. China has to be called to account.” 

Recently, China has been expanding its arms to small and weaker countries in south Asia to assist them. The possible intention of these acts could be to control these nations in the future to China’s advantage. India should counter these activities of China by placing strict penalties on China. As of the end of May, Prime Minister Modi has merely changed the foreign direct investment rules back in April. The amendments stated that India’s bordering country must get India’s approval to invest in India. Due to this act, China was offended and called the new rules prejudiced.

 

India has numerous great opportunities to break free from its dependence on China. Since the USA is India’s largest foreign direct investors, the economic stimulus package that India recently released makes India attractive to America. Plenty of companies from the USA have been investing in Indian companies for April and May. While Japan is incentivizing firms to leave China, they might see India as a potential hub for their companies. If India secures a stable flow of foreign direct investments, India can break free from its reliance on China. The progression of these international economic events presents no better time for Prime Minister Modi to play the trump card and gain the advantage of the situation. Around a hundred countries have signed a resolution that is seeking to have an investigation to learn the origin of the coronavirus. If countries like India stand up against China, it could make China’s economic rule over Asia a sign of the times and let India be the new superpower of Asia.

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