Tuesday, June 14, 2005

ASSESSMENT: US Hegemony In The Far East Under Seige

The Indians pretty much are up to the same tricks and are a bit louder about their success at creating friction with the United States. "None of us in Asia should fall victim to the strategies of outsiders. The only way to counter the geopolitics of others is to have our own geopolitics" said Aiyer. His country is making headway in sidestepping old rivalries -like the one with Myanmar- in the region and securing access to energy resources way ahead of when it needs them. Although India is home to more than 15 percent of the world's population, it accounts for only 3 percent of world oil consumption. China, by contrast, consumes 7.6 percent of the world's oil. By 2020 India is expected to have to import 80 percent of its energy needs. Even though India is not a huge consumer of energy yet, its one billion population will soon be and India's decision to make oil central to its foreign policy evidences it is looking ahead more than most powers in this region. This is mainly because the country feels it cannot afford to lose out to China, which has been snatching oil deals from under its nose continuously, notably in Africa and Indonesia during times oil prices were way lower. Indian negotiations with Iran over a pipeline to India via Pakistan are the main source of friction with the US, which is pursuing a policy of isolating Iran. India, replicating US logic, says that by having the pipeline pass through Pakistan, it can ameliorate relations with this country in one move. The rhetoric falls just about short of talk of democracy. The deal with Iran is expected to be signed in June. Russia is also part of it.

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