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.