India and China have engaged in strengthening geopolitical ties with other nations in a potential move of forming alliances to encircle each other’s territories.
Crux of the Matter
India’s Ties To Encircle China
- India and Bangladesh agreed on the construction of a railway line to connect Agartala in Tripura with Akhaura in Bangladesh by 2021 – all the costs would be borne by the Indian government.
- The two countries also agreed on a deal for waterways to connect Tripura with Daudkandi through the Gomti river from August 2020.
- In 2017, India provided Bangladesh a credit of $4.5 billion for its 17 key projects.
- In 2018-19, more than 12 deals were confirmed between the two.
- 2014: Japan was among the foremost countries visited by PM Modi after winning LS elections.
- 2015: Both countries agreed on a bullet train project in India using Japanese technology. $12 billion credit would be provided by Japan, with negligible interest rates for repayment.
- 2016: Both sides agreed on a deal that enables Japan to provide nuclear development facilities to India.
- 2019: Japan invested ₹13,000 crores in development projects in Northeast India
- Japan and China have had strained relationships since World War II.
- In 2020, Japan announced $2.2 billion in aid to companies moving out of China.
- Bhutan is a protected state of India.
- In June 2014, the first foreign state visit of PM Modi was to Bhutan.
- 2017: Both sides agreed to establish free trade between them.
- 2019: India increased its monthly supply of LPG to Bhutan from 700 Metric Tonnes(MT) to 1,000 MT.
- Australia reportedly offered India military aid after 1962 Indo-China war.
- 2016: Agreement was signed to allow uranium exports from Australia to India.
- June 2020: Both sides agreed to allow each other the access of their military bases.
- Australia recently called for independent investigation into the origin of Coronavirus, putting China in spotlight for its lack of transparency.
- China retaliated by increasing tariffs on barley exports from Australia.
China Encircling India
- China is the largest provider of arms to Pakistan.
- In 1989, Pakistan supported Chinese govt in its Tiananmen Square Massacre.
- 2019: China supported Pakistan on Kashmir issue.
- 2020: Both sides agreed on a deal to build dam worth $5.8 billion in Gilgit-Baltistan lying in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), for which India expressed disapproval.
- 2008: Nepalese monarchy fell with alleged aid from the Communist Party of China (CCP).
- 2019: China to provide Nepal $500 million for development projects.
- 2020: Several schools in Nepal make Mandarin mandatory.
- Nepal blamed India for Covid-19 and claimed 3 Indian territories in its map allegedly at the behest of China.
- 2015: China became the largest trade partner of Bangladesh.
- 2018: Bangladesh received record amount of Foreign Direct Investment of $3.6 billion, with more than $1 billion coming from China.
- China’s total investment in Bangladesh was $38 billion as of 2019. It is the largest sum provided to Bangladesh by any country.
- China is the biggest arms provider to Bangladesh.
- Sri Lanka is one of the major countries of the String of Pearls, which is a theory encompassing China’s hold on international ports.
- 2007: China became the major weapon supplier to Sri Lanka which ended the civil war.
- China provided loan worth $1.5 billion to Sri Lanka for building the Hambantota port.
- 2017: China wrote off $1.1 billion loan to lease the port for 99 years.
- 2020: US bans Lt Gen Shavendra Silva of Sri Lanka for civilian atrocities and alleged pro-China inclinations.
- The String of Pearls is a geopolitical theory on potential Chinese intentions in the Indian Ocean region (IOR). In theory, a “pearl” refers to a current or potential Chinese overseas military base, mega infrastructure project, economic corridor, port or other city or locale of Chinese geostrategic advantage in the region. The eponymous “string” of these pearls refers to the possibility of the Chinese Navy connecting these pearls via maritime routes.
- Mongolia is the world’s second-largest landlocked country behind Kazakhstan and the largest landlocked country that does not border a closed sea. In 2002, about 30% of all households in Mongolia lived from breeding livestock. (Mongolia)
- The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that connected the East and West and was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century. The Silk Road trade played a significant role in the development of the civilizations of China, Korea, Japan, the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Europe, the Horn of Africa and Arabia.
- India Today – India-Bangladesh rail link to be ready by 2021: Minister Singh
- NDTV – New Waterways Route To Connect Tripura With Bangladesh: Biplab Kumar Deb
- Forbes – Japan Ditches China In Multi-Billion Dollar Coronavirus Shakeout
- Reuters – India, Australia seal deal to use each other’s military bases
- Hindustan Times – From LPG to space, PM Modi seeks to expand India-Bhutan ties beyond hydro-power
- WION – Chinese company signs deal with Pakistan to build dam in PoK
- The Print – As Modi govt doubles down on CAA, long-time friend Bangladesh moves closer to China
- The Guardian – US imposes sanctions on Sri Lankan army chief over war crimes
- The Economic Times – New Chinese loan may further plunge Sri Lanka into debt trap