India and China- Paving a road to reconciliation through Afghanistan

By Anushka Singh                                                                                                                                Image: Reuters

 

 

India and China- Paving a road to reconciliation through Afghanistan

India and China have agreed to undertake a joint economic project in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping reached this understanding at the end of the two- day informal summit, 27 April to 28 April, in Wuhan. This joint project, if gets operationalised, can reshape the geopolitical spectrum in the region.

The details of this joint venture are still to be discussed by the authorities concerned. However, both India and China have pointed on the development of Afghanistan and improvement of the lives of Afghan population as the focal point of their joint project. This joint project holds strategic importance for both the countries. India has always been a good ally to Afghanistan. India has, time and again, invested greatly in the development sector of Afghanistan. This is the reason why Kabul considers New Delhi as his closest friend. Thus, a partnership with China seems like a feasible and attractive option for India.

China has announced the expansion of its controversial China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan. Therefore, this economic partnership can be seen in the same light, as part of China’s tactical strategy. Also, through this joint project, China is trying to pave a way to further expand its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, India has strongly opposed CPEC and is also very skeptical about BRI. Thus, it will be interesting to see how China will play his cards to serve his interests, i.e., by including “connectivity” in the joint agreement.

Other reason which may have acted as a driving force behind this joint project revolves around the growing security concerns. Both the countries have recognised terrorism as a common threat and have re-emphasised on their commitment to fight against terrorism and cooperate further in counter-terrorism strategies. However, this may trigger a reaction from Pakistan. Pakistan sees itself as one of the main actors driving the reconciliation process in Afghanistan. A collaboration of India and China on this front will make Pakistan feel side-lined, making the situation diplomatically tricky for China.

India and China have been eye-to-eye on various occasions. However, this joint economic project has provided a new way to the countries to engage with each other and amend their strained relationship. But the constant ups and downs in the bilateral relationship of the two countries make it hard to predict the future.

 


About the Author

Anushka Singh currently is a member of the Information Services team at MitKat Advisory Services. 


Disclaimer: Any views or opinions represented in this blog are of the author and do not represent those of MitKat. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

Published On - May 11,2018

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