‘India’s China Policy’ has changed quickly between two major summits – the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit held in May in Beijing and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Kazakhstan’s Capital Astana recently.
India has stayed away from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit citing sovereignty, procedural and leadership issues. While India boycotted the summit on Belt and Road Initiative, in Astana it became a full member of SCO.
Both countries have a long-standing border dispute. Under these circumstances, will India’s hedge and engage approach against China work?
“One Belt One Road (OBOR) is not a multilateral project, it’s a bilateral project. India is in a different league. China has put in a lot of effort to get India to participate, as it serves China’s purpose better to have India on board. However, we need to make our position clear, and take a stand representing not just us but other small countries as well.” says Jabin Jacob, Assistant Director at the Institute of Chinese Studies.
China and India are engaged in a complex relationship that involves a contest over territory as well as over status in Asia. China’s increasing influence in South Asia is raising eyebrows in India. China has been challenging India’s primacy in South Asia, mainly by supporting Pakistan while also gradually eroding Indian influence in neighboring countries like Nepal and Bhutan.
“India and China have a history of problems, but keeping in mind the situations, we can easily assume that U.S, China and India will be the three largest economies in the world next 10-15 years. We need to speak up and take steps against those developments of China that adversely impact our interests as problems between two large neighbors are inevitable.” adds TCA Raghavan, Former High Commissioner of India to Pakistan.
Despite the money and military hardware that U.S has been providing to Pakistan over the years, Pakistan sees China as a more reliable ally. China, on the other hand, provides Pakistan the security of constant backing by a big power. While it’s no secret that China-Pak defense relations pose a serious challenge to the balance of power in the region, it’s a matter of concern for India that Pakistan army is in a better position with China.
“Chinese are already in the PoK area. In the years to come we can assume, it’ll become virtually a colony of China. They’ll pour in more PLA troops, workers and engineers. We have to think. Are we in a position to reverse that? What do we do about Kashmir? We have kept the Kashmir status pending.” says Bharat Karnad, strategist and National Security expert.
China has not been supportive of India’s demand for inclusion in NSG and has also blocked India’s resolution in UN for designating Masood Azhar as a terrorist. Considering India’s underlying issues with China what is the way ahead for India’s China Policy.
To catch up detailed discussion on India’s China Policy, watch our show Security Scan today evening 10.00 pm and Friday June 16th at 10.30 am, 1.00 pm and 5.30 pm.