In a sense, India’s foreign policy is still passive. The hallmark of power is not that countries will take your money and use it to build refineries, or that foreign leaders will visit and eat your food at interesting summits about maritime security. The real test of power is whether a country can make other countries do what it wants. And for all the activity involving India this past week, none of it suggests that India is amassing that kind of power. Instead, India is thwarting Chinese power. It is doing this because it wants to, but more than that, because other countries want it to. India is playing on the world stage, and that is notable – but it is playing at the invitation and with the blessing of others. It is not master of its fate.
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