China has been pumping a lot of money in the Indian subcontinent lately. From Pakistan to Myanmar and Nepal to Maldives China is not letting a single stone of opportunity unturned. With the One Belt One Road initiative China is trying to increase its influence in the Indian backyard.
China has already begun the construction and up gradation of Gwadar port in Pakistan and Sri Lanka’s southern port of Hambantota. China first gave most of these nations loans then later offered to build infrastructure there. Most of these nations allowed china to use their land because of the heavy loans they took from China.
The Chinese intentions are clear. The dragons want to enter the Indian Ocean and increase its influence in the region which is historically considered as Indian backyard. With a lot of surplus capital and an economy six times as large as India’s it has no problem in achieving it. China already has presence in many nations. If they are able to achieve their goals then New Delhi would be surrounded by enemies on all sides.
India should plan the counter strategy very carefully. We do not have the luxury of surplus capital so we cannot outdo china in investment. We should be fighting the battle where we know victory is certain. For most of the south Asian countries like Nepal and Bangladesh India is a hub for education. Most of the Nepalese students want to study in Indian colleges. Investment would not be able to change the likings of the people of a nation when their children are studying in India.
India should work more on growing in presence in sectors like higher education, health and technology transfer. India has a vast potential for tourism too. The best way to retain these allies would be to open our borders to them. Though this would be a very tough decision but India already has a porous border with Nepal and Bhutan and countries like Maldives, Sri Lanka and Myanmar would be more than happy to have this relationship with India. This would not only counter china but also instill brotherhood amongst us.
India has emerged as a leader of low-cost tech in South and Southeast Asia. Its affordable generic pharmaceuticals are highly sought-after while the country is championing solar energy, reflected by the April launch of the International Solar Alliance — New Delhi’s brainchild aimed at boosting solar cooperation among member nations.
As quoted by Hellenic Shipping, “India also supports the economic development of South Asian peers through rupee-structured loans, which helps avoid problems of exchange rate and devaluation, said Leela Ponappa, India’s former deputy national security advisor.
India has emerged as a leader in low-cost tech in South and Southeast Asia and India is leading in generic pharmaceuticals and Solar energy. India must advance to join the member nations with the solar energy program.
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