India's Ascending Path

India is being courted by Russia, China and the United States. Heady stuff—as long as India’s leaders don’t forget they still have some pressing domestic challenges.

Issue: May-June 2007

HAVING THE luxury of being courted from all sides as the next big thing, the Indian government is emphatically playing all the angles. India is indeed coming into its own-as demonstrated by American, Russian and Chinese courtship-but it faces a host of acute challenges on the road to great-power status. Most of these challenges arise from domestic economic disparities. Ultimately, India's success in foreign policy will depend upon its ability to reconcile uneven economic development with the practical reality of democratic politics.

India's increase in economic might underlies its hedging strategy in foreign policy. The country seeks amiable relations with all regional powers, both strengthening its ties with the United States and China, and maintaining long-standing friendly relations with Russia.

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