China in India’s Neighbourhood

  • China’s influence in South Asia and ways to counter it
Doklam Issue
  • Nepal: Nepal will not get dragged into this or that side(means India and China) in the border dispute
  • Sri Lanka: India and China are “both important” to Sri Lanka
  • Bhutan: blaming China for violating agreements at Doklam, but not mentioning India
India’s Neighborhood and China’s presence
  • Maldives
    • Chinese companies has bagged contracts to most infrastructure projects in Maldives
    • This includes development of a key new island and its link to the capital Male
    • And a 50-year lease to another island for a tourism project
  • Nepal
    • Nepal has signed a transit trade treaty and agreement on infrastructure linkages with China in late 2015-2016
    • China is also building a railway to Nepal, opening up Lhasa-Kathmandu road links
    • And has approved a soft loan of over $200 million to construct an airport at Pokhara
  • Sri Lanka
    • Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port construction project went to the Chinese in 2007 only after India rejected it
    • China doesn’t just own 80% of the port, it has also won practically every infrastructure contract from Hambantota to Colombo
  • Bangladesh
    • China has committed $24 billion to Bangladesh for its infrastructure and energy projects
India’s available options
  • India must regain its role as a prime mover of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
  • Even after a year, there have been no steps taken to restore the SAARC process is unfortunate
  • It should be remembered that despite China’s repeated requests, SAARC was one club it never gained admittance to
The way forward
  • India must recognise that doing better with its neighbours is not about investing more or undue favours
  • It is about following a policy of mutual interests and of respect which India is more culturally attuned to than its large rival is.
  • Each of India’s neighbours shares more than a geographical context with India. They share history, language, tradition and even cuisine.
  • When dealing with Beijing bilaterally, New Delhi must match China’s aggression, and counter its moves with its own. When dealing with China in South Asia, however, India must do exactly the opposite, and not allow itself to be outpaced. In short, India must “be the Un-China”.



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