On October 24, 2017, The Carter Center and the Halle Institute for Global Learning at Emory University invited Arun K. Singh, former Indian Ambassador to the United States and Henry Levine, former American consult general to Shanghai. to speak on great powers and world peace. Dr. Philip Wainwright, Vice Provost for International and Strategic Initiatives at Emory Unviersity opened the conversation and Dr. Yawei Liu, Director of the China Program at The Carter Center, moderated the dialogue that touched on how India, the U.S. and China interact on the global stage and if three great powers could enter into long lasting collaboration that can anchor world peace and prosperity. Whereas Ambassador Arun K. Singh presented a glowing picture of India’s successful diplomacy, Mr. Levine was much more pessimistic on where the U.S. is going at the present time. Much of the conversation focused on the recent border dispute between India and China and why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lashed harshly on China during a speech on October 18 when he announced a new partnership with the Indian government.
The conversation ended on the central issue of possible Sino-Indian cooperation because an armed conflict between the two major powers in Asia would certainly upset the balance of power in Asia and interrupt the slow recovery of the world economy. Ambassador Singh expressed his support for BRICS, an emerging economic alliance that are led by China and India and emphasized that China needs to reassure India that its Belt and Road Initiative is not designed to hurt India’s geostrategic interests. Levine said it was unwise for the U.S. to manufacture a new coalition of the willingness to force China to toe in to the so-called international norm. Liu wondered if U.S., China and India could venture into tentative cooperation on peacekeeping operations in African countries.
This conversation seems to suggest it is easy to talk about great powers jointly waging peace in the world but old ideas die hard and it is very difficult for the three powers to come together and come up with realistic solutions that are backed by the resources from all three government.
If you wish to listen to the full recording, you may listen to it here.