Janus’ Musings

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Burma and India and China

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My view was that India failed to leverage it’s influence in Burma – hence allowing China to cozy up to the generals and getting access to Burma’s raw materials. India seemed to moving away from this position with the recent military and economic co-operation; but today I read this op-ed in the WSJ by Tarun Khanna – he has persuasively argued that India should use the softer approach viz. supporting the democracy movement and wait it out till the Junta falls. Tarun also advocates using Bollywood as a way to get into the hearts and minds of the Burmese:

India’s true strength lies in projecting soft power. Unstinting support
of democracy, for example, is far likelier to work in the longer run as
the junta runs out of steam. India should not squander an opportunity
to lay useful groundwork in this regard. Even other tools of soft power
will likely work better. Bollywood, for example, has a large following
in Burma, and the over hundred thousand Burmese refugees in India will
likely embrace India over China. Trying to play China’s game against
China is folly, not to mention unprincipled. It will no more work than
if China tries to project only soft power against India’s tactics.


Written by janusmusings

April 10, 2008 at 12:48 am

Posted in Asia, India

Tagged with ,

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