All Eyes on India
The international arena has focused its attention on hosts of nuclear weapons programs such as Iran and North Korea. The condemnation by the United Nations of North Korea’s rocket launch has provoked the hermit nation to meddle even more with the taboo. Moreover, North Korea has even gone one step further vowing to continue their agenda of firing a long range rocket into space to place a satellite in orbit. Recently, India has announced a big missile test and has made absolutely clear that this missile can reach Beijing and shanghai. The reason for the missile test, according to Indian defense, is to build a credible minimum deterrence with no hostile effects. Fortunately, China has responded calmly to the tests saying it does not want to build up any sort of tension and that they are not rivals, but, cooperation partners.
Whether China and India are working on bilateral relations is not the question, however. It can be asserted that India and China are actually more cooperative with one another than they are opponents, in fact. India has aligned itself more with China at the U.N. Security Council and, in turn, has voted against many U.S. resolutions even though America backs India’s membership at the Security Council.
Furthermore, the world is seeing the beginning of an Asian Arms Race. India could have chosen to test this missile in the past couple of years, but it appears that India is trying to reflect its everlasting presence and show everyone that its strength is equal to that of its neighbor—not necessarily competing with China, but proving itself. The timing seems to indicate this, especially since China has had such an assertive role these past couple of years. India wants more than anything to become a world power, but the way to do that is not through its nuclear pursuits. After all, Iran and North Korea are states with nuclear weapons programs, and they are far from reaching this objective. By testing the Agni-V, India is trying to demonstrate its power not only regionally, but globally—especially to America. What is difficult now is that the testing has happened in a time that is inconvenient to the situation of Iran and North Korea. It is going to be even more difficult to impose a big stick policy or condemn the actions of the rogue states when India is doing the exact same thing as them.
Whatever move India makes, whether continuing to purchase oil from Iran, or test nuclear missiles, it must do so responsibly because their footprint is clearly present, and its actions have stronger results not only regionally, but around the world more than ever before.