Question: Should India start to challenge China?
Parag Khanna: India has a lot more internal work to do. I think it should focus a lot more on a domestic developments side of things, which is the real ultimate internal basis for expanding your influence overseas.
Secondly, if they were to compete with China on traditional terms, it would lose. It is not nearly as powerful as China. It would get quite simply beat up; that is not something that it should be want to happen.
Indians talk a lot of about wanting to be a different kind of power, they say, a bridging power, we are a constitutional super power. We are Diaspora power. Lots of different ways to try to be different from the traditional great power model.
I would like to see India achieve that, and I would even like to be a part of India achieving that, but I don’t think that they have a road map for doing so.
And, as someone who follows very closely how they try to use globalization, recruit the Diaspora and use economic leverage internationally to gain prestige, I see a mixed picture of good and bad, positive trends, negative trends. It is a work in progress. Till they have a road map for that, I don’t think they should be challenging any one.
Recorded on: 3/3/2008