Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 16 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/26/17

China and India torn between silk roads and cocked guns

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 73066
Message Pepe Escobar
Become a Fan
  (184 fans)

To allow Hindu nationalism to block New Delhi's involvement in BRI would be counter-productive, to put it mildly. China-India bilateral trade was US$70.08 billion last year. China is India's top trading partner.

Still, India launched an attempt at a counter-offensive last month when it joined the United Nations TIR convention, a global customs transit system with huge geographical coverage. India's TIR gambit covers only Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan, however. To think this might dent the appeal of BRI -- with its massive funds, support from the Silk Road Fund, the AIIB and further on down the road, private financing (from East and West) -- is, frankly, naïve wishful thinking.

Stuff BRI, we've got AAGC

BRI is a juggernaut that has evolved over the past four years and is finally ready to launch its full connectivity firepower. Compare its resources with India's infrastructure predicament, its jungle of red-tape, its lack of funds for Eurasia-wide projects, and even the fact that its GDP growth dropped below China's in 2016.

There's also that pesky geopolitical open secret -- that Pakistan constitutes a de facto Great Wall blocking India's land route to the West and its expansion across Central Asia. New Delhi is trying to circumvent these facts on the ground by all means available.

These include the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), founded in September 2000 by India, Iran and Russia, and which could potentially connect India to Europe via the Persian Gulf; investing in a trade corridor between the Iranian port of Chabahar and Afghanistan; trying to copy BRI via its TIR gambit, but on the cheap, without massive investment in infrastructure. And, to counter what New Delhi brands BRI's "Sinocentrism," there's its purported trump card, unveiled by Modi himself at the general meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in the capital of Gujarat last May -- the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), supported by Japan.

The AAGC has been spun by India as a project "acceptable for the banking sector," as opposed to BRI's "government-funded model." In theory, the AAGC is about Asia-Africa integration. Japan brings its expertise technology and infrastructure building, India its "experience in Africa."

The AAGC was duly derided in Beijing as a New Delhi-Tokyo scheme -- aided and abetted by Washington -- to sabotage China's drive towards Eurasian integration. The case can certainly be made. New Delhi's multiple strategies, so far, have yielded more rhetoric than action.

Soon it may all come down to "if you can't beat them, join them." The ball is in the Hindu nationalist court.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Must Read 1   News 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Pepe Escobar Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

You Want War? Russia is Ready for War

Why Putin is driving Washington nuts

Why Qatar wants to invade Syria

All aboard the New Silk Road(s)

It was Putin's missile?

Where is Prince Bandar?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: