Book Interview: India Wakes Post Coronavirus New World Order with Dr. Bart S. Fisher
Metal Convertibility, MCon- Sept 2020
We sat down with Dr. Bart S. Fisher, MCon’s counsel and published author to discuss his recent co-authored book.
Tell us about India Wakes and the inspiration for this book...
I noticed that while there was a huge literature on the role of China vis a vis the United States, there were no books on the role that India could play in a new post-coronavirus era. That seemed strange to me, since India is one-sixth of humanity, and a potentially powerful balancer against China and its drive for global hegemony. The challenge in writing a book about the relationship between India, China, and the United States is the vastness of the subject. It is impossible to capture the complexity of the subject in one book. The COVID-19 pandemic occurred as we were writing the book, and that presented another challenge, that of analyzing an ongoing health crisis the future direction of which we still do not know. Arun Tiwari, my co-author, and I have, therefore, addressed a large subject and painted on a very broad canvas, but we think that exploration of the relationship of the triad — China, India, and the United States is a compelling subject that deserves the attention of policymakers and the general public.
In your opinion what exactly is a Post Coronavirus New World Order…
The Post Coronavirus New World Order will focus on the U.S. — China relationship, and whether or not we are entering a new Cold War with China between China and the United States. The U.S. — China relationship will become the central axis of global politics, the sun around which all the other planets revolve. A Cold War between the United States and China, however, is better than a shooting war, and we will need to prepare for a long twilight struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of totalitarianism. In the book, we propose expanding the G-7 to a D-10. The G-7 group of nations comprises the seven largest democratic advanced economies in the world: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We suggest that the G-7 should become the D-10, the Democratic Ten, by adding India, Australia, and South Korea to the group. Apart from security cooperation, the D-10 could be a free trade bloc, perhaps with a common currency. We believe that a formidable group of democratic nations needs to come together to confront the tyrants, dictators, and terrorists of the world.
Give us some insight into the historical relationship of India and China…
India has had two principal concerns regarding China. First, India has a very long contested border with China, which has been an ongoing source of tension between the two countries. Indeed, there was a border war between the two countries in 1962, and shooting and skirmishes are still occurring on the border. Second, partially as a result of its large trade deficit with China, India has now come to the realization that it is overly dependent on China in crucial areas such as medical resources and supplies. Indeed, India has looked to Russia and its pre-existing USSR to supply military equipment to provide it with adequate defense to resist Chinese incursions and attempts to gain influence in India. We recommend closer defense cooperation between the United States and India to assist India in countering China’s drive for dominance in South Asia.
Your book paints a scary picture of the future should technology fall into the wrong hands. Is there anything positive that could flourish from this?
Technology per se is neutral. The question that is presented is what use is made of it. The problem, from the U.S. perspective, is that the U.S. government has outsourced the development of the Internet to the private sector, which has resulted in five large technology behemoths dominating the market, setting their own standards, operating for private profit. On the other hand, in China, the entities using the Internet can only operate with the approval of the government of China. So technology in the hands of the government of China has become a tool of human rights suppression. The government in China has extensive surveillance on social media such as WeChat, and the loss of privacy on social media in China is nearly complete. That would be unthinkable in the United States, but it allows the government of China to control the lives of their people.
What guarantees do Americans have that the US won’t try to take advantage of 5g and use it to monitor their citizens?
Answer: The rule of law in the United States should prevent governmental authorities from spying on its own citizens, and unduly invading their privacy. For example, a FISA waiver based on national security concerns is required to permit U.S. government surveillance of a U.S. citizen.
In your opinion, what would be an ideal trade deal between US and China?
The United States needs to engage in a strategic decoupling from China. We need to assure that the jewels of U.S. technology do not fall into the hands of the government of China. China must stop stealing U.S. intellectual property, and forcing U.S. companies into joint ventures in order to obtain access to the market in China. The government of China has to stop subsidizing its state-owned enterprises so heavily that U.S. companies are unable to compete against the “China Price,” which is typically 30% below the U.S. price. Finally, the government of China has to stop manipulating its currency to obtain an unfair competitive advantage over its U.S. competitors.
What could be the benefits of the US moving their supply chain to India?
There would be three main benefits. First, India has a vast market of 1.3 billion persons who could purchase U.S. products. Second, India has democracy and rule of law, both of which will protect U.S. investors. Third, if U.S. companies were to move their supply chains from China to India, this would lessen dependence by the United States on China.