21 Nov : India and China have been identified as "major rising powers" in an emerging multi-polar world, and this could bring in "new stakes and rules of the game" in the international arena, according to a new US intelligence forecast."We believe chances are good that India and China will continue to rise, but their ascent is not guaranteed and both will have to overcome high economic and social hurdles," a report by the US Directorate of National Intelligence has said.
The report titled "Global Trends-2025, a World Transformed" has come out as the new Barack Obama administration takes over and clearly points out that if current trends continue by 2025, China will have the world’s second largest economy and will be a "leading military power."
Though the current Superpower United States will remain the single most important actor on the world stage by 2025, but it will be less dominant in the new global multi-polar system with the number of new players.
The report said India would continue on the road to rapid economic growth, but warned "regional and ethnic insurgencies that have plagued country since independence are likely to persist.
"But they will not threaten India’s unity. We assess New Delhi will remain confident that it can contain the Kashmiri separatist movement. However, India is likely to experience heightened violence and instability in several parts of the country because of the growing reach of the Maoist Naxalite movement."
While, the report labels China as an emerging military power, it is silent on what India’s future military strength would be?
The report while projecting a brisk relationship developing between India and the US particularly in transfer of high technology and trade, said the political leadership in New Delhi will avoid transformation of these ties into some sort of an "alliance" framework.
"Indian leaders do not see Washington as a military or economic patron, and now believe the international situation has made such a benefactor unnecessarily," the report said.
It, however, said New Delhi would follow on the course of currently developing close ties with the US, "apparently as a hedge against any development of hostile ties with China".
The report said Indian leaders could also positioned their country as a "political and cultural bridge between rising China and the US."
The transformation is being fueled by a globalizing economy, marked by an historic shift of relative wealth andeconomic power from West to East, and by the increasing weight of new players especially China and India, the report said.
"The whole international system as constructed following World War II will be revolutionized. Not only will new players Brazil, Russia, India and China have a seat at the international high table, they will bring new stakes and rules of the game. The unprecedented transfer of wealth roughly from West to East now under way will continue for the foreseeable future" it added.
Focusing on India, the intelligence assessment said, "Unprecedented economic growth, coupled with 1.5 billion more people, will put pressure on resourcesparticularly energy, food and waterraising the specter of scarcities emerging as demand outstrips supply. The potential for conflict will increase owing partly to political turbulence in parts of the greater Middle East."
The report discusses in some detail of the role and place of India both in a domestic setting and in global context stressing that over the next 15 to 20 years "Indian leaders will strive for a multi-polar international system, with New Delhi as one of the poles and serving as a political and cultural bridge between a rising China and the United States".
"India’s growing international confidence, derived primarily from its economic growth and its successful democratic record, now drives New Delhi toward partnerships with many countries. However, these partnerships are aimed at maximizing India’s autonomy, not at aligning India with any country or international coalition," the report said.
"India probably will continue to enjoy relatively rapid economic growth. Although India faces lingering deficiencies in its domestic infrastructure, skilled labour, and energy production, we expect the nation’s rapidly expanding middle class, youthful population, reduced reliance on agriculture, and high domestic savings and investment rates to propel continued economic growth," it said.
"India’s impressive economic growth over the past 15 years has reduced the number of people living in absolute poverty, but the growing gap between rich and poor will become a more important political issue," it added.
India and Indians, the report maintained, will remain strongly committed to democracy, but the polity could become more fragmented and fractious, with national power being shared across successive political coalitions.
"Future elections are likely to be multi-sided affairs yielding awkward coalitions with unclear mandates. The general direction of India’s economic policymaking is unlikely to be reversed, but the pace and scale of reform will fluctuate."
The US intelligence prediction have also identified three other Asian nations as up and coming powers, all from the Muslim world — Indonesia, Iran and Turkey.