Foe, friend

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that India, which has charted an independent course on foreign policy, was forced to change its strategic posture and join the four-nation Quad due to China’s aggressive actions. India and China are locked in a lingering border standoff in eastern Ladakh for over 31 months. The bilateral relationship came under severe strain following the deadly clash in Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh in June, 2020.India has maintained that the bilateral relationship cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border area.In his latest book Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, that hit the stores on Tuesday, Pompeo called India the “wild card” in Quad because it was a nation founded on socialist ideology and spent the Cold War aligning with neither the US nor the erstwhile USSR.“India has always charted its own course without a true alliance system, and that is still mostly the case. But China’s actions have caused India to change its strategic posture in the last few years,” Pompeo wrote in his latest book.Pompeo widely speculated to run for the Presidential elections in 2024, explains how Trump administration succeeded in bringing India on board the Quad grouping.The US, Japan, India and Australia had in 2017 given shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad or the Quadrilateral coalition to counter China’s aggressive behaviour in the resource-rich Indo-Pacific region.China forged a close partnership with Pakistan — India’s arch rival — as one of the first steps in its Belt and Road Initiative.