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India & CPEC

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December 28, 2016

Click here for CPEC Part I

Why in news?

Pakistani General suggested that India should shun its “enmity” with Pakistan and join the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. The Chinese foreign ministry also has called the offer a “goodwill gesture”, exhorting India to take it up.

 What is the present scenario?

  • India has no dialogue with Pakistan at present.
  • It has opposed the project, bilaterally with China “at the highest level” as well as at the UN.
  • Relations with China have deteriorated considerably since the announcement of the project in April 2015.
  • China has defended Pakistan against India’s efforts to pin it down with regard to support to terror groups.
  • It has opposed India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group membership application.
  • Given all this, the suggestion by China and Pakistan can only be understood to have been made rhetorically, especially as it was accompanied by allegations of India’s “anti-Pakistan activities and subversion” in Balochistan.

What is the scope of CPEC?

  • These factors show that there is little expectation of any room for India in CPEC at present.
  • But there is space for India to step back and see where China and Pakistan want to go with it.
  • CPEC is no longer a project in Pakistan, but one that runs through it, a project that will link 64 countries.
  • The offer to India was made along with offers to other “neighbouring countries”.
  • Already, Iran wants Gwadar to be a “sister” port to Chabahar.
  • Turkmenistan and other Central Asian Republics have shown interest in the warm-water port that will be a nodal point for goods through Pakistan to the Chinese city of Kashgar.
  • Despite its problems on terror from Pakistan, Afghanistan is becoming a nodal point for China’s connectivity projects to Iran.
  • The meeting among Russian, Chinese and Pakistani officials on Afghanistan this week, and Russian engagement with the Taliban, indicate much more is changing in the region than just the alignment of highways and tunnels.
  • While India has done well to shore up relations with others in the region, it cannot afford to be blindsided by their involvement with the OBOR project and Chinese plans.

Category: Mains | GS – II | International Relations

Source: The Hindu


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