A new survey sheds light on how Indians view their diplomatic relationships with two global superpowers.
According to research conducted by Morning Consult, Indians view China (43% of respondents) as their country’s biggest threat, followed by the U.S. (22%). Pakistan and Russia follow each with 13% of citizens saying these countries are India’s biggest threat.
While India’s mistrust of the U.S. may be surprising, given that it is seen as an even bigger threat than its longtime rival Pakistan, the authors point to India’s pragmatic approach to dealing with competing superpowers.
“As tensions between Washington and Beijing increase, the Indian public may be worried about getting caught in the middle of a U.S.-China conflict that destabilizes regional security, putting India at risk,” the authors said.
Complicating the relationship between the world’s two largest democracies even further is the conflict in Ukraine. The study finds that a significant share of Indians believe that that the U.S. (26%) and NATO (18%) are responsible for instigating that conflict. Together those results are higher than the share who believe that Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February of 2022, is responsible (38%) the conflict.