It looks like the OBOR story is getting interesting by the day. It has already been proven that Shanghai to Dubai by sea is manifold cheaper than CPEC. And it also knows it’s day dreaming to expect Pakistan to pay back $5 billion dollars per year. So, what has China got in that? Why is China pouring in billions? The road goes through Xinxiang and Baltistan, the hotbed of Chinese separatism. In a flagging economy, CPEC creates jobs. By bringing in as many neighbours as possible on board, China is trying to reassert it’s position in the Chinese Mandala System.
And coming to the Pakistani angle. There is a joke in Indian government circles over Pakistan – China finds India till the last Pakistani. China wants to ensure that India can’t replace India as an economic power. Pakistan is always ready when someone says anti-India. And, Pakistan wants someone to tackle the unrest in Balochistan and Illegal Kashmir. This road will help do it. By bringing in as many countries as possible into it, China is trying to see India will not create problems to the road in Balochistan and Baltistan – many countries will lose their investments and the pressure one can put on India will increase manifold.
India can’t join CPEC because CPEC goes through Indian territory. Joining it is a tacit agreement that Baltistan is a part of Pakistan. And India is not going to accept Chinese mediation because the mediation package doesn’t involve Aksai Chin. China’s game is India’s isolation and put massive pressure on India. The question is what will India do.
The game boils down to interests and nothing more – small countries want money, China wants it’s preeminence, Pakistan, a point over India.
Is it fine for India to join CPEC? To assert it’s position, what can India do to accept CPEC? Demand China to have representatives of Tibet and Balochistan in their independent capacity? Ask China to eject Pakistan from Illegal Kashmir and accept Indian sovereignty? Yes, those are in Indian interests. But, can India force it’s way through? India should take a hard stand. And for that you need absolute self-reliance in case matters come to blows. Jingoism apart, are we sure India is ready?
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