Turning down China

But India’s staying away from the OBOR mega show will not affect bilateral relations adversely

Written by Ram Madhav | Published:May 17, 2017 12:15 am
US-China relations, Chinese president, Xi Jinping, China-US ties, US vice president Joe Biden, Biden, Donald Trump, World Economic Forum, WEF Davos, Obama, President Obama, world news, indian express news For President Xi Jinping, Belt and Road is a project of personal ambition and honour. (Reuters)

Belt and Road is China’s most ambitious initiative in history. Popularly known as One Belt One Road (OBOR), this infrastructure project of gigantic proportions attempts to bring under its sway more than 60 countries, from the Scandinavian world to the South Pacific Islands, in its land and maritime versions. The ancient Silk Route is said to be the inspiration for this initiative launched in 2013.

For President Xi Jinping, Belt and Road is a project of personal ambition and honour. His government has not left any stone unturned to make it a reality in a span of less than four years. In the first three years, various projects have seen the signing of contracts worth more than a trillion US dollars.

In a world of competing economic and trade alliances, OBOR has overtaken many others active in the region and beyond. The European Union has some 27 member countries; the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has 13 countries; the East Asia Summit has 18 countries; even a religious grouping like the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has only 57 countries as members. APEC, TTP, SCO — none comes anywhere near the Belt and Road initiative which boasts of the involvement of more than 60 countries.

By all means, this is singularly the biggest constellation of nations in the 21st century. One prominent nation missing in this mega show is India. Like other countries, India too was invited to the Beijing conclave, with invitations reaching six different ministries for participation in various forums during the summit. The Chinese were hopeful till the last moment about Indian participation. But the government of India decided not to send its representatives to the summit.

Belt and Road is essentially a Chinese project. Two major Chinese financial institutions are supposedly taking responsibility for arranging the necessary finances for participant nations. When completed, the rail, road and maritime routes of this project are expected to boost bilateral and multilateral trade in a big way.

Where the project is a matter of pride for the Chinese leadership, it is also mired in controversy over sovereignty questions and fears about debt servicing obligations. Projects like this one, involving multiple countries, are launched only after proper deliberations among the beneficiary countries and after addressing their concerns.

In the case of Belt and Road, however, the Chinese have opted for a different course. They first announced the project and then initiated the dialogue process with various stakeholder nations. It suited some; for some, like Nepal, it is too big a proposal to be rejected. India is probably the only country that didn’t find it virtuous or beneficial to join this mega alliance.

India’s reservations need to be looked at from the sovereignty perspective. China routinely threatens countries when it finds issues even remotely connected to its own sovereignty question being “violated”. Not just China, no country compromises with its sovereignty for the sake of some trade and commerce interests.

India’s Achilles’ heel is the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, popularly known as CPEC. The CPEC is seen as a part of the Belt and Road initiative although it started much earlier. In fact, when the Chinese entered into an agreement with Pakistan in 1963 to build the Karakoram Highway in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) region, India had vociferously objected to it on the very question of sovereignty. The region through which the highway was to pass belonged to India and has been under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. The Chinese side, thus, has full knowledge of India’s concerns about the region.

The CPEC today passes through the same region of PoK called Gilgit Baltistan (GB). India has time and again raised its concerns over Chinese activity in the region, the latest being in 2011 when information came out about the presence of thousands of Chinese troops in the region. Adding insult to injury for India is the very name of the project, CPEC, although the region through which it passes doesn’t belong either to Pakistan or to China. In such a scenario, for India to participate in the summit would have meant acceptance of the CPEC proposition.

There is no reason to assume that India’s decision will affect bilateral relations with China adversely. Both India and China have a mature leadership under Modi and Xi. Both work together on many other multilateral forums like the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), BRICS Forum, etc. In bilateral relations, there are certain irritants that have either been inherited over time or are a result of realpolitik. That includes China’s position on Pakistan and terrorism sponsored by it on Indian soil. India hopes that China appreciates its concerns and takes mutually satisfactory and reassuring measures.

However, being not just a nation but a civilisation in itself, China has time and again betrayed its own style in diplomacy. In his book The Hundred Year Marathon, Michael Pillsbury suggested that Chinese strategists have a definite road map for their country to overtake all other world powers, including America, by the time their Maoist Revolution completes a hundred years in 2049, becoming the sole super power. But President Jinping seems to be a man in a hurry. He wants to achieve it much earlier.

As pointed out by The Economist magazine, China today talks not in terms of the China Model or the Beijing Consensus as it used to. The terminology used these days is “China solution” and “guiding globalisation”. Its initiatives, including OBOR, need to be viewed from the perspective of these newly coined phrases.

 

The writer is national general secretary, BJP and director, India Foundation

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  1. W
    Well.done.Shri.Ram.Madav.ji
    May 18, 2017 at 7:21 am
    Good work CPM
    Reply
    1. G
      George Cruz
      May 18, 2017 at 6:23 am
      The reality is that there will be NO WINNERS in this One Belt One Road (OBOR) other than the Chinese. The China's main intention is to use to exploit Pak labor/resources and ultimately to full control of the POK which belongs to India. India has already learnt the lessons of Chinese false propagation with "Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai" slogans in the 1960's and later backstab India. The RSS leader Ram Madhav is 100 correct in essing the Chinese deception and India's reluctance in joining the scam. Even the western countries like the US and EU are shying away from this Chinese deal.
      Reply
      1. A
        A. M.
        May 18, 2017 at 4:30 am
        These sanghi buffoons will end up with a major b er and end result will be that arunachal Pradesh, along with half of Kashmir will end up with China. Hope that china solves the Kashmir issue 😂😂😂
        Reply
        1. U
          undefined
          May 18, 2017 at 5:18 am
          Commies gave welcome pamphlets to Chinese soldiers during Chinese invasion in 60s! How China will solve the Kashmir issue. Do you want to become a citizen of China? Do you know how Chinese treat Tibetans? Chinese hang Muslim terrorists in their country.
          Reply
        2. S
          sahil
          May 17, 2017 at 11:21 pm
          Fascist leader from jhandelwalan is now part of the think tank running bharat, the mahatma's sacrifice has gone waste in bharatiya reich
          Reply
          1. R
            Raj
            May 18, 2017 at 4:33 am
            Followers of a 7th century Arab ped0phile are ruining the world.. its reslly unfortunate.
            Reply
            1. U
              undefined
              May 18, 2017 at 5:19 am
              Chines hang Muslim terrorists or shoot them!
              Reply
            2. E
              Employ Ment
              May 17, 2017 at 9:57 pm
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              Reply
              1. V
                vish
                May 17, 2017 at 7:59 pm
                Not much of value addition ,lacks Vision and strategy .Want to see solution to Kashmir before we talk of China.
                Reply
                1. D
                  DILIP
                  May 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm
                  India under no cir stances should touch this g iose fantasy white elephant called OBOR, it is fake Chinese stunts to hang those otic countries that bow to their whims. with mountain of killer debts. Like slippery , economically anemic China laden with Tsunami of DEBTS, is rapidly sinking down the sh11t pot. China is sitting on a shifting sand and will its myth will be blown in to South China Sea. India must not go any where near any China's FEKU STUNT UNVIABLE FANTASY PROJECTS. Tell them to get lost and not to fret unnecesserily.
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    DILIP
                    May 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm
                    I fail to understand why these India grovelers kow tow to China so much. Ignore China it is a bag of HOT AIR . India must priorotise its economic growth, development, increase its exports to am over $$2 trillion FX Reserves and build TRIAD lethal weapons to counter China. Ignore and discard all the tle tattles about China. Be strong, be prosperous economically have a lethal military system and be courageous, China will soon be on the RUN WITH TAIL BETWEEN THEIR LEGS. I know of their character. Stop all these BAKWAS of CHINA HYPE and over state. Be confident, India can be the biggest ECONOMIC POWER.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      arc
                      May 18, 2017 at 12:00 am
                      You don't understand because being a chaddi you have no intellect. Remember your party is against intellect? For intellect you need brains. Since you have no intellect you have no brains. QED.
                      Reply
                      1. D
                        DILIP
                        May 18, 2017 at 12:55 am
                        It appears sickular madre ch00ds like you have too much sh11t and p1ss stuck inside your slavish indoctrinated aid contaminated low grade brain, that is why you are challenged to understand the Chiese CON TRICK. SO F Off.
                        1. R
                          Raj
                          May 18, 2017 at 4:35 am
                          Low IQ inbred followers of a 7th century Arab ped0phile are commenting about IQ.. how ironic..
                          1. U
                            undefined
                            May 18, 2017 at 5:27 am
                            Indian Commies gave welcome pamphlets to Chinese army during Chinese invasion in 60s. Do you know how Chinese treat Tibetans in Tibet? Chinese hang Muslim terrorists in China! Do you like to hang Muslim terrorists in India including Kashmir State. Are you saying that that Muslim terrorists are intellects or Chinese Imperialists are intellects! You do not have Chinese brain !
                            1. G
                              George Cruz
                              May 18, 2017 at 6:24 am
                              Arc is a Muslim from Kerala and anti-national.
                          2. H
                            Haner
                            May 17, 2017 at 5:38 pm
                            17, 2017 at 5:37 pm May 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm Mr. Loser ram madhav- single handedly brought Kashmir so much bloodshed. 2 percent is the voting percentage in Kashmir under ram madhav. RSS gave only one job to ram madhav- making peace with Kashmir nd kashmiris . But he blew it away royally. And here he comes with his china views. Lol Reply
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              Raj
                              May 18, 2017 at 4:36 am
                              Followers of a 7th century Arab ped0phile are ruining the world.. its reslly unfortunate.
                              Reply
                            2. H
                              Haner
                              May 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm
                              May 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm Mr. Loser ram madhav- single handedly brought Kashmir so much bloodshed. 2 is the voting percentage in Kashmir under ram madhav. RSS gave only one job to ram madhav- making peace with Kashmir nd kashmiris . But he blew it away royally. And here he comes with his china views. Lol Reply
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                Raj
                                May 18, 2017 at 4:36 am
                                Followers of a 7th century Arab ped0phile are ruining the world.. its really unfortunate.
                                Reply
                              2. H
                                Haner
                                May 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm
                                Mr. Loser ram madhav- single handedly brought Kashmir so much bloodshed. 2 is the voting percentage in Kashmir under ram madhav. RSS gave only one job to ram madhav- making peace with Kashmir nd kashmiris . But he blew it away royally. And here he comes with his china views. Lol
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Raj
                                  May 18, 2017 at 4:37 am
                                  Followers of a 7th century Arab ped0phile are ruining the world.. its really unfortunate.
                                  Reply
                                2. I
                                  Ivan
                                  May 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm
                                  Anyway it is China's show. Whether India turns up or not makes no difference to them, since they provide the financing, the labour, the capital etc, to exploit the markets for their products from all across Central Asia, into Europe and Africa. Th Chinese can handle all of the requirements in steel, cement, chemicals etc from their own surplus. They have the rest of Asia, Europe, the USA and Russia with them, all hoping for a slice of the pie, though I doubt anyone else would get very much out of it.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    sk
                                    May 17, 2017 at 2:37 pm
                                    CPEC is a failure without Indian parti tion, Modi is playing his cards cleverly and stan is walking in debt trap as this project is not financially viable
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      Alif Hakimi
                                      May 17, 2017 at 3:04 pm
                                      It's right for China to block India's NSG entry application. China should keep blocking it whenever India applies.
                                      Reply
                                      1. H
                                        Hedonist
                                        May 17, 2017 at 7:47 pm
                                        India will block China in MTCR.
                                        1. J
                                          Jio
                                          May 18, 2017 at 2:43 am
                                          Kaun he be tu $ala .
                                          1. J
                                            Jio
                                            May 18, 2017 at 2:44 am
                                            Kaun he be tu $ala k@tu@.
                                            1. R
                                              Raj
                                              May 18, 2017 at 4:38 am
                                              You are thr followers of a 7th century Arab ped0phile called Mohammed
                                          2. H
                                            Hedonist
                                            May 17, 2017 at 2:24 pm
                                            China needs India more than India needs China. After all who will buy cheap made in china junks. India has a demographic advantage
                                            Reply
                                            1. R
                                              Rajat
                                              May 17, 2017 at 5:07 pm
                                              But we will keep on buying Chinese junk rather than adopting Indian goods. We will curse chinese everyday but won't hesitate a bit when cheap goods are involved
                                              Reply
                                            2. S
                                              saurav
                                              May 17, 2017 at 2:22 pm
                                              It is right decision by the government to not parti te in OBOR forum.It seriously violates its sovereignty over GB.Bloodshedding and Trade should never go hand in hand.It gives a clear indication to the world about India's stance on POK and India's confidence in its own version of trade system.On the hand, India should work diligently with an in devising its trade way and be completing its infrastructure on war footing scale.
                                              Reply
                                              1. M
                                                Mohmed
                                                May 17, 2017 at 1:59 pm
                                                Yes you are right Mr Madhav.Corrupt Congress had no guts but the BJP did it.What can the dragon do except bullying small countries in SE Asia?
                                                Reply
                                                1. K
                                                  krish
                                                  May 17, 2017 at 1:26 pm
                                                  I think more than POK, Chinese colonization and debt trap is forcing India to back track. There is no need to go under this hegemonic design of Chinese. We have our own trade which world including China cannot ignore. And people like Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni goes to China, shakes hands with stan and abuse India citing nonsense like "India isolated itself".
                                                  Reply
                                                  1. S
                                                    Sunder
                                                    May 17, 2017 at 1:24 pm
                                                    Who is this guy ?
                                                    Reply
                                                    1. A
                                                      arc
                                                      May 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm
                                                      @sunder. Ram Madhav is an R-ASSES guy who has been given charge of BJP/govt policy on Kashmir. He does not have the courage to go to Srinagar, yet sitting in Jhandewalan decides on Kashmir. You can see the result in the growing Kashmir mess. He is also a custom made R-ASSES baby who has now grown up. He is the result of an ongoing R-ASSES experiment to create ideal Aryan babies who would grow up to be fair, tall, handsome. You can see in him that the experiment has gone terribly wrong. Other R-ASSES examples of tall fair handsome babies are Kailash Vijayvagariya, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Amit Shah, Narendra Modi.
                                                      Reply
                                                      1. R
                                                        Raj
                                                        May 18, 2017 at 4:40 am
                                                        You must be a follower of that 7th century Arab ped0phile called Mohammed
                                                        1. G
                                                          George Cruz
                                                          May 18, 2017 at 6:45 am
                                                          Arc is a brainwashed Muslim from Kerala, hates Hindus, and a anti-national.
                                                      2. G
                                                        George
                                                        May 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm
                                                        India under BJP govt talks big but does nothing. Modi has a flare for drama. He will keep the domestic crowd humored with dramatic nonsense like demonetisation and surgical strike. Both these measures were utter failures. DM did no cure corruption; did not cure black money; did not cure militancy; did not cure counterfeiting. Surgical strike has led to kil and mutilation of our soldiers and civilians, alienating Kashmiris and the Kashmir mess. Most number of people killed on our side during this period. But Modi knows how to talk and the bhakts will swarm the internet to praise him and sing bhajans. Fools paradise!
                                                        Reply
                                                        1. N
                                                          Nandagopal C.S
                                                          May 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm
                                                          What else can we expect from Christians. You are chronic hindu and bjp haters.
                                                          Reply
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                                                          Babu
                                                          May 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm
                                                          India took the right decision. Congratulations to Modi Govt. Just like the Brexit, India should keep away from China And s. They are there to destabilise and destroy India.
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                                                          1. G
                                                            Gautam
                                                            May 17, 2017 at 12:11 pm
                                                            These guys are poor at performance but great at hiding it, unfortunately country is looking due to lack of sense.
                                                            Reply
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