31 October 2018
Washington’s plans to withdraw from a Cold War-era agreement with Moscow could have reverberating consequences around Asia, potentially escalating rivalry among nuclear-armed powers such as China and India.
President Donald Trump threatened on Oct. 20 to pull his country from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia — a bilateral deal that prohibits both nations from possessing, producing or test-flying a certain category of cruise missiles. The pact, signed in 1987, was instrumental to easing Cold War tensions. Trump claims Russian President Vladimir Putin has been violating the accord, but provided no details.
If the treaty is abandoned, Washington and Moscow will be free to develop and deploy more missiles — a risky scenario for the European Union given its geographical proximity to Russia.
Less discussed, however, is the impact of Trump’s decision on Asia.
… “Arms racing is a cascading phenomenon,” Rajesh Basrur, professor of international relations at Singapore-based Nanyang Technological University, said in a note. “When China competes with the U.S., it arouses insecurity and a competitive drive in India, which in turn does the same in Pakistan.”
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 01/11/2018