After years of opposition, can India Join China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative to attract massive Chinese investments? India seems to have altered its strategy by rejecting to align with US, Japan and Australia to counter the OBOR project of China? US, Japan and Australia recently launched an initiative to escalate opposition to China’s OBOR Project, but India surprisingly remained at bay.
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India has had its own share of concerns and resentment to China’s OBOR Project specifically with regards to the CPEC. The CPEC passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and India holds strong objections to this route.
India feels that CPEC challenges the sovereignty of India and its claim over Kashmir. Besides this, the success of the OBOR will also mean that India’s claim to be a regional superpower in Asia will take a backseat. But New Delhi is determined to not annoy Beijing any further and hence it has diluted its fierce resentment to the OBOR.
The US, Japan and Australia plan to invest more in infrastructural projects in Asia and the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s growing stature. They launched a trilateral partnership on July 30 to work towards this direction. India maintained a cautious distance from this partnership and did not participate in the initiative. India is not keen to make its stand on the Indo-Pacific seem overtly hostile towards China.
After the fierce standoff at Doklam between India and China, the two neighbours have held a series of negotiations and dialogues to ease strains between them. During the visit of the Chinese defence minister to India later in this month, the two nations will also discuss the possibilities of setting up a military hotline.
Even in the recently concluded BRICS Summit in South Africa, the two nations were confident of bringing diplomatic ties back on track. Both share concerns over the increasing protectionism of the US and in such a scenario both look for opportunities to stitch strategic partnerships and complement each other. This may be the reason why India wants to play safely in terms of its policies towards Beijing.
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