India’s relationship with certain countries has been affected by a third country called the hyphenated country like Indo – US by Pakistan. Indo – South Asia by China. Questions of these kinds are tougher to answer as it requires overall understanding of global politics. This topic was chosen to give a peek into how such topics should be handled.
15 new agreements signed between China and Pakistan
Placing it in syllabus
India and its bilateral relations.
China- Pakistan relations since independence and its impact on India
- Recent China-Pak relations and its impact on India
- Policy of hyphenation (India-Pakistan relation hyphenated with china)
China and Pakistan recently signed 15 agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) for co-operation in diverse fields, including poverty alleviation, agriculture and transfer of electronics. China would also help Pakistan to modernize the metrological department in the country while both countries would also extend cooperation in the field of higher education.
China-Pak relations: a brief history
China-Pak relations is an all-weather friendship which has been growing over years.
1965- China supports Pakistan and calls India the aggressor
1970’s development of USA-China-Pakistan axis
1980’s onwards china support to nuclear developments in Pakistan.
The most overt friendship overture between china and Pakistan is the development of CPEC (china Pakistan economic corridor) as part of OBOR (one belt one road). The $64 billion project, which is the part of Beijing’s most ambitious foreign economic initiative — One Belt One Road — aims to connect northwest China (kashghar) to Pakistan’s south-western Gwadar port through a network of roads, railways, optical fibres and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.
There are a total of three corridors in the project the western corridor, central corridor and eastern corridor.
Advantages to China
- Economic opportunities
- Gets shortest route to Indian Ocean.
- It’s a gateway to Central Asia and West Asia.
- Facilitate quicker movement of Chinese worker and machinery to Africa.
- Development of Xinjiang to curtail ethnic conflict.
Interest of Pakistan
- Economic development
- Power deficit could be reduced
- Gwadar up-gradation projects like developments of airport and connecting it to interior of Pakistan.
- Strategic advantages – Integration of POK
- Possible ethnic tensions between Han Chinese and Ughirs of Xinjiang and The Baluchis and Punjabis of Pakistan.
- The threat of extremism in POK, Gilgit-Baltistan and Xinjiang
- Issue of sovereignty (POK)
- Chinese presence as a security threat
- Possible infiltration in the guise of labour movement and employment
India has three options
- To join the project
- Not to join the project
- Develop alternatives
In light of above concerns India decided not to join CPEC and explore alternative options like project MAUSAM, project Spice Route, Asia Africa growth corridor with Japan.
The most pragmatic stance would be to in the project as developing alternatives at this stage for India is not feasible and not joining would not stop the project as part of the project has already been initiated.
Following are the concerns if India joins the project:
- Compromise with sovereignty
- Fear of the possible implications of this on other disputed territories of India
But joining it has the following advantages
- India being part of the growth process and part of Globalisation 2.0 (china’s OBOR)
- India can regulate movement of Non state actors with its presence in the region
- China as a strategic threat in the region could be nullified through Co-operation and eternal Vigilance in the region.
- Economic prosperity in the region will have Collateral effect in neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir and will facilitate people to people contact realising the concept of “soft border” (de regulated border as propounded by Man Mohan Singh)
- India even after joining can still maintain its position on POK as an integral part of India.
Test yourself: Mould your thoughts
China and Pakistan have entered into an agreement for development of an economic corridor. What threat does this pose for India’s security? Critically examine. (UPSC CSE Mains 2014 Paper 3).