Maldives crisis poses a security dilemma for India akin to Doka La, but with a devilish twist

london, Feb 14: In his book Fire and Fury, Inside the Trump White House, journalist and author Michael Wolff gives an interesting account of a private dinner which he attended on 3 January, 2017, around two weeks before Donald Trump was sworn in as president. The “small dinner arranged by mutual friends”, as the author put it, was also attended by Steve Bannon, then among the most influential figures in United States’ politics. Trump and domestic politics were obviously on the menu but Bannon focused on China, calling it “the real enemy” and the “first front in a new Cold War”. The then executive chairman of Breitbart and soon-to-be chief strategist of Trump, Bannon apparently said: “China’s everything. Nothing else matters. We don’t get China right, we don’t get anything right.” He went on to call Chinese the most “rational people” and compared Xi Jinping’s China with Imperial Germany. (Page 7, Little, Brown publication). There’s no reason to think that China has stopped being the focal point of American interest following Bannon’s ouster. Here’s what US Senator Marco Rubio had to say before a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Tuesday:
“The biggest issue of our time in my view, and I think in the view of most of the members of this Committee… is China and the risk they pose. I’m not sure in the 240-something-odd-year history of this nation we have ever faced a competitor and potential adversary of this scale, scope and capacity… They are carrying out a well-orchestrated, well-executed, very patient long-term strategy to replace the United States as the most powerful and influential nation on earth.” Senator Rubio also raised these concerns with the Director of National Intelligence and Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a media release. This is not a measure of US paranoia but a check on a fast-dawning reality. The 19th Communist Party Congress gave us a ringside view of Xi Jinping’s leadership, ideology and vision. In his speech, the Chinese president laid out granular details about how he wants to make China a “fully modern economy” by 2035 and a “great power” by mid-century. He wasn’t bluffing. (Agencies)