India may rise as regional power

Monday, March 28, 2005 In the wake of India's March 26 announcement that it intends to build its first indigenous aircraft carrier, and recent American overtures aimed at greater defense cooperation to help make India a "major power," speculation is rife as to the future geopolitical consequences for the Asian region and the world.

India's rise to greater military power may serve as a counterbalance to China in the Asian region. China is interested in developing a free trade pact with India and has made overtures in that direction, which are under consideration in India.

Indeed, China's military might is also increasing at a rapid rate as that nation's government commits an ever-greater percentage of its budget to national defense. Nonetheless, the two nations are seeking a free trade agreement (FTA), which some observers have declared as having the potential to be "the most significant event of this decade" for the Asian region.

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