The current border dispute between New Delhi and Beijing is occurring at a time when China has undertaken the step to revive the ancient Silk Road and maritime trading routes.
The project is now in a stage of being materialized, with a focus on the region that covers China, Nepal and India in the Himalaya mountains.
“But India’s decision to remain outside the Belt and Road framework seems to go against the current of the times, and may deny the entire South Asia the benefit of connectivity with China and the fruits of its economic development”, wrote the pro-Beijing Global Times in an article recently. “Further, it may severely harm the prospects of Asia emerging as an advocate of the new economic world order.”
Pointing out that the “future of India lies in Asia”, the article said that the US president Donald Triumph’s reactionary nationalism is a rejection of the people’s need for development that can ensure an inclusive prosperity for all human beings.
On the other hand, “the initiative of the Belt and Road put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping is, thus, not merely a strategic plan of development but it also represents a goal of peace and human progress.”
India naturally would be a beneficiary of the initiative, because the plan opens an immense opportunity for enhancing trade in Southwest China and Central Asia. The initiative will also be a boon for North India, where several provinces like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are trapped in a state of massive poverty.
According to the Chinese newspaper, although the initiative emerged in China, it does not mean that its goals will only benefit China. “The greater benefit actually would go to South Asia, India being the largest stakeholder in the region in terms of territory, population as well as the size of its economy,” it said.
South Asian region is poorly developed in infrastructure networks, energy production and supply, as well as the standard of technological achievement in its industrial production systems. The region is home to 43 percent of the globe’s poverty-stricken people, who are forced to go bed without food. Over 60 percent of this poor population comes from India alone.
This bleak condition itself reminds everyone that any venture that generates a wider possibility of connectivity opens gates for new opportunities leading toward the greater prosperity of people.
So, the Chinese daily go on further: “The dispute arising along the India-China border, in this perspective, will definitely jeopardize the flourishing trust and friendly relations between China and India, thus reducing, if not ending, the prospect of mutual investment, enhanced trade and other development prospects.”
It said that, India has the great responsibility, under an 1890 treaty between China and Britain, to de-escalate tension by withdrawing its troops. Any argument that claims a right to protect the sovereignty of Bhutan will eventually fail under international law.
“It can be argued that Bhutan as an independent nation can settle any issue concerning disputes along its border by dialogue with China, if any such dispute arises. India as an important nation has an obligation to address bilateral issues by peaceful means through negotiation.”
India’s attempt to resort to gaining military supremacy with the support of the US and its allies would further worsen the situation, the article warned. “India and its neighbors best interests are better protected by its thoughts and acts of becoming an integral part of Asia rather than becoming an ally of Western countries.”