New Delhi: Chinese activities and influence in India’s extended neighbourhood have grown increasingly with the sole purpose of keeping New Delhi constrained and occupied in facing the resultant challenges, according to papers submitted at a key security meet here.
The papers presented by Indian Police Service officers at the just concluded conference of DGPs and IGPs submit that by providing huge amounts of money in the name of loans for developmental works in Southeast and South Asia, China wants to reduce India’s influence in the Indian Ocean region and force resolution of bilateral issues on Beijing’s terms.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), infrastructure-related investments in India’s neighbouring countries through easy loans, hot borders, and Line of Actual Control (LAC) are some of the tools Beijing has been using effectively, the papers say.
The last two-and-a-half-decades have seen Chinese economic and military growth at a massive scale and Chinese activities and influence in India’s extended neighbourhood have grown proportionately, they find.
“All this is being done with the aim to keep India constrained and occupied in facing the resultant challenges, force resolution of bilateral issues on its own terms, modulate India’s growth story, leaving it (China) free to achieve its aim of becoming not only Asia’s pre-eminent power but a global superpower,” according to the papers.
China has become far more attentive to its South Asian periphery, moving beyond commercial and development engagements to more far-reaching political and security ones, according to one of the papers.
China is investing huge amounts of money in the neighbouring countries of India mainly Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka in the name of infrastructure development and other financial assistance, it said.
Without exception, India’s neighbouring countries have described China as a crucial development partner, either as a funder or in providing technological and logistical support. Additionally, it is the biggest trading partner in goods for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and the second-largest for Nepal and the Maldives, it said.
“However, the economic element is increasingly intertwined with political, government, and people-to-people aspects of these relationships,” it said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created opportunities for China to work directly with these countries in new ways such as the provision of medical equipment, biomedical expertise, and capital for coronavirus-related needs, it said.
These developments demonstrate that China’s presence in Southeast and South Asia is no longer predominantly economic but involves a greater, multidimensional effort to enhance its posture and further its long-term strategic interests in the region, the paper said.
“China is highly ambitious about achieving its regional power status in the Indian Ocean region. To do so Beijing wants to contain India which is the only threat before China in this region,” according to an analyst.
The papers on the subject “Chinese influence in the neighbourhood and implications for India” were written by some top IPS officers of the country.