Covid-19 is likely to accelerate the competition and confrontation between the US and China, and simultaneously reduce the global authority of both by eroding their absolute power and legitimacy. The relative power scale can tilt in either direction.
India and other middle powers are likely to enjoy greater bargaining capabilities with both US and China. Smaller powers are likely to fall in line with any side that provides them with the required capital.
India’s geopolitical stance depends on actioning key domestic reforms, failing which India’s leverage will reduce and it will be forced to ally with a major power on less favourable terms.
If India’s relative power vis-a-vis China and the US improves, India can become a swing power for both the US and China led groupings. If India’s relative power declines, India will have to align itself more closely with the US.
Read the full op-ed on The Print here.