This refers to the article, ‘Network is the key’ (IE, May 9). The trans-continental connectivity project that Beijing is working on is not just an economic venture but also, a political and diplomatic endeavour. A number of countries, flattered by the “Chinese promise”, have readily agreed to board the ship, putting pressure on other countries to follow suit. New Delhi can neither risk antagonising its Central Asian partners, including those in and around the heart of Asia, nor can it let Beijing win the game of “dominant power” in Asia Pacific. New Delhi must now build coalitions of economic significance. It must reach out to regional partners such as Japan, Australia and the Southeast Asian nations. The smaller countries must be persuaded that Chinese altruism comes with a hefty non-negotiable price tag.
Bibhuti Das, New Delhi
This refers to the article, ‘Network is the key’ (IE, May 9). To bracket China in the same league as the British Raj is a bit too ambitious. England had a constitutional monarchy backed by empowered citizens, whereas the world has barely heard of Chinese “citizens” Investing in transnational connectivity is an old concept. The Chinese propaganda on OBOR is however new. The project traverses the most politically volatile region of the world — Central and West Asia. CPEC has come at the cost of the Chinese having informal ties with the Taliban.
Sayantan Ghosh, Kolkata
Facts and beliefs
This refers to the article, ‘Love in the time of the Holy Shiver’ (IE, May 9). Belief is sometimes above facts, rationalism and humanity. For example if gau rakshaks are told that the Vedic people slaughtered cows — as the historian D.N. Jha has shown — they will not listen to that. The point is not to shake their beliefs but to make them understand that humanity is more important than what they are practicing in the name of religion. No religion is above humanity and if it is, then either it is not a religion or it is one whose basic precepts are being misinterpreted.
Nishant Parashar, Chandigarh
This refers to the editorial ‘Macron Moment’ (IE, May 9), Emmanuel Macron’s win against Marine Len Pen was never in doubt. The French demonstrated that liberalism lives. Macron’s win brought relief to the liberal world since he has a progressive position on immigration, etc. However, daunting tasks lie ahead. He needs to take tough decisions to fix the French economy.
Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai