We are all aware of the dragon’s character and how it wants to control the rise of elephant, i.e. India as Chinese media calls it. China calls for peaceful coexistence of all its neighbour but wants to keep its indirect hegemony intact. The way china have always bullied its neighbours is well known to all of us. Bullying is at such level that it calls whole south china sea as its own and ignores the law of the sea and the international rules on territorial boundaries.
|9 dashed lines theory of china|
The only country which dared to stand up to its bully was Philippines. She went to UN court of justice. Even though china is a UN permanent member, it ignored the ruling for being against it. World already knew that china was not going to accept it. Countries like USA, UK sailed near to the artificial islands, which china is constructing but nobody can dare for direct military confrontation. The problem is of economic relations. If there is a direct confrontation of china with any superpower the world will come to stand still. China being largest trading partner of most of its neighbours can seriously impact its neighbours economy.
|china rejects ruling on arbitration|
When USA installed missile defence system in south Korea, china protested and the famous south Korean brand “lotto” was attacked in china. Chinese tourists in south Korea are major source of income. China protested by stopping the tourists visiting there. Today china is the major market for most of the world brands and so no country wants to angry china. Even Apple stores,KFC and McDonalds were attacked to protest against USA.
Vietnam and Japan, the so called enemy of china, which have even fought wars in the past depends completely on china for its economy. Once china stopped exporting rare earth metals to Japan which brought the chip manufacturing companies of Japan to halt. Later Japan had to appease china to get the rare earth metals again.
So in other words no neighbour have the guts to challenge china.
This have made china to further bully its neighbours. Pakistan which is going into a debt trap soon is now an indirect colony of china.China have invested more than 60 billion dollars in CPEC(china Pakistan economic corridor). Some reports show that china have made power plants there with 20% return guaranteed and have given loans with as high as 17-18% interest rates.
If a country have high double digit growth rates then that might seem feasible but in case of Pakistan its impossible to return the money. Now some reports show that china have pressurised Pakistan to not take loans from other world institutions and thus have made Pakistan totally dependable on china.What happens next?
we can clearly see the case with Srilanka. Srilanka had to give the Hambantota port and more than 10000 acres land to Chinese company as the port was not feasible and Srilanka was not able to pay the debt.
Now the question arises Why is china angry with India?
The answer is not that simple. I will like to elaborate the reasons in detail.
1. China want to be the asian superpower with no one left to challenge it. But India can’t allow it to be the lone superpower.India challenges it on every platform it gets. India and china both wanted to have asian century dream come true but due to china’s over ambitions and hegemony India had to invite USA in the game.
USA also have no other country left to contain china.So India is the only option left.The defence agreements with USA, Israel, France is giving china sleepless nights.With USA joining the game have changed the rules of the game. Now India, Japan, USA have military exercises every year. Australia also showed its desire to join Malabar exercise but India refused as it didn’t wanted to anger china.
Recent news showing that Britain will also send its aircraft career to the south china sea to challenge its occupation shows that situation is going to be more tense in the coming days and India will play a very big role in this.
India signing a strategic pact with USA which allowed each others territory and bases to be used for servicing clearly shows India’s tilt to USA . This could also mean USA giving more role to India in Afghanistan crisis. This also frustrates china as its ally Pakistan will have little say in Afghanistan.
2. The most important development which happened in recent past is India clearly refusing to join OBOR (One belt one road initiative). This is the route containing roads, railways and infrastructure projects. China have decided to invest more than trillion dollars in the long run.India refused giving sovereignty reasons ie. CPEC passes through POK.
China assured India that this will not change their say on Kashmir issue, but everyone knows when 60-70 b $ is invested they will definitely interfere.
The refusal of India joining OBOR seems simple but let me explain why its a big issue and changes the whole plan of china.
|obor:one belt one road|
A country like Nepal who have never seen billion dollar investment was bought indirectly by china being promised that they will build roads, railways, pipelines for fuel etc on the mountains to connect china and Nepal to end over dependence on India. This project was so huge that it required investment of nearly 8 billion dollars. That project is feasible only if India joins OBOR and china exports goods through this route to India too. A tiny country like Nepal can’t buy so much goods even in coming generations to make this project feasible.
China constructed CPEC and made a big Gwadar port to send goods to middle east and import crude if there is tension in Indian ocean route. India built Chhabahar port near Gwadar to counter it. India also wanted to develop an alternate route to Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries as Pakistan doesn’t allow its territory to export goods to Afghanistan. This also puts a question mark on the feasibility of Gwadar port.
|chabahar and gwadar ports|
India is also developing north-south economic corridor with Russia and Asia-Africa corridor with Japan which will be a serious challenge to China’s OBOR.
As per many reports China is no more the growth centre of the world.This has now shifted to India. India will be the growth centre in the coming decades.So India’s non participation in OBOR is like loosing the biggest future market of the world.Chinese market is mostly saturated now and there is very less infrastructure left to be built there.
China have already built many ghost cities to keep its state owned infrastructure companies in business. China have over capacity in steel too. So China had no way other than OBOR in which so much over capacity can be utilised. Chinese banks are the only ones financing the project,built by chinese infrastructure companies who hire only chinese labourers and import all its equipment from china only. So this project was very less beneficial for India anyway. other than connectivity it wasn’t proving much sense.
In some reports India needs more than 5 trillion dollars in infrastructure investments in the coming decades. China hoped they will get a large pie out of it, if India joined OBOR. Europe have very less infrastructure needs left and africa can’t afford it. So the only place left for china was India.
So in my views a lot depends with India refusing to join OBOR.
One more case I want to mention is China wanted the bullet train project to be provided to them.They wanted to show this as a brand and symbol that if a country like India trust feasibility of Chinese bullet trains then other nations will copy that too. But India gave the project to Japan.
India is now restricting steel import from china by charging high import duties. Last year only India made mobile phones of 80000 crores, and is growing into a big manufacturing hub.Taiwanese company foxconn accepting to invest heavily in India to manufacture electronic items,apple making Iphones in India etc.In future this will be a big loss for china as India will be the largest market in coming years.
|japan bullet train for india|
India had started Sagarmala project in which coastal manufacturing zones are setup. These zones will be mostly export oriented. Since no extra transportation cost will be required which will make indian manufactured goods very competitive due to cheap labour. China is feeling the heat out of it and is slowly accepting the reality.
|make in india|
Now coming to the “Dokalam” issue. This issue have changed all the game. China’s bully nature was never challenged. China wanted to frighten India and thus bully it to finally join OBOR. But it was completely unexpected to china that India would send troops.Chinese government mouthpiece “Global Times” kept writing articles over a month and even reminded 1962 war and did whatever they could do to frighten India. But India didn’t withdraw troops. They even kept a condition that there will be no talks until India withdraws troops and India will see repercussions if she doesn’t withdraw immediately.
The most interesting part is the way Indian government reacted. They didn’t say anything about this. Simply said they are not going to withdraw and they are ready for dialogue.Even in the G20 meet India didn’t wanted dialogue on this and left the ball in china’s court.
Finally china agreed for dialogue and last day our national security advisor Ajit Doval visited china for dialogue.
This is a game changer. Let me elaborate how.
Pakistan thought that China is superpower in asia and nobody can challenge its hegemony, even India. They thought china will protect them like a big daddy. China also had a feeling that it can do whatever it wanted in Asia. Seeing India’s courage Pakistani government is in big shock.
Last year when India publicly announced that we did surgical strike Pakistan refused due to shame.They couldn’t accept Indian troops entering Pakistani territory.It was big embarrassment for Pakistani military and civilian government. But now Indian troops entered territory claimed by china and even after so many warnings of war, troops refused to come back.
This is thus a game changer. Even India’s small neighbours like srilanka, Nepal, Bangladesh which always played china card must come to senses now and must know that if it comes to India’s security India will challenge anyone, even if its china. This have indirectly showed china that if they think they are the only super power in Asia, then they are wrong. This move will also empower smaller China neighbouring countries.
|india china fight|