Diplomatist Magazine Diplomatist April 2018 - Page 49

PERSPECTIVE requirements has made it an active player in the South Asia's regional politics. Countries in South Asia share common cultural and language affi nities, but possess diverging national interests which leads to contentious situations at times. It has become much more complicated since countries like China, Japan and the U.S. renewed their interests in the region. The need for expansion of trade basket and domination over new sources of raw materials for economic and energy requirements turned South Asia into an arena of contestations for global politics. The main aspirant to change the geo-politics in its favour has been China, especially after it has increased its presence in multilateral institutions of global governance and emerged as a challenger to US as a heg emonic power. The economic rise of China has created a new architecture of global trade and investment. The economic modernization of China and its commercial diplomacy have displayed the interdependence of Western economies vis-a-vis China. China has stressed economic supremacy and strategic domination through attaining member of different international organizations in Asia as well. Over the last few years, China has systematically built up its sphere of economic infl uence in the region. China has provided concessional loans and fi nancial aid to countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. China has become a top trading partner of Bangladesh and also signed a free- trade agreement with Sri Lanka. Moreover, there have been high-level offi cial visits between China and her South Asian neighbours. China has also established strong ties with political elites ruling these countries. India, an important regional player in South Asia, is concerned about growing nature of ties between China and its neighbours. There has been a clear anti-India agenda articulated in these countries time and again. Historical and geo-political factors play an important role in understanding these issues. Among all the South Asian countries, India is the most powerful country, both in economic and military terms. Most of these countries share their borders with India which provides the main transit route to them for connecting to the outside world. This includes the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan. These nations are bound to be interdependent in matters of hydrological resources, energy, trade, security and infrastructure development. However, there are wider political differences which hinder the creation of a common platform to adopt regional integration for India and its South Asian neighbourhood. Most of these countries have bilateral disputes with India over the issues of ethical insurgency, illegal migration, terrorism, water resources, border demarcation and traffi cking. They have also experienced political instability from time to time. Frequent changes in leadership and the ruling party bring out new power asymmetries within the region.These South Asian countries also have their security concerns regarding India’s position on ethnic insurgency and cross-border terrorism, which India has failed to address. The South Asian regional politics also grapples with frequent changes of political regimes, China proposed to start a project of building China-Maldives Friendship Bridge worth $210 million, mainly funded by Beijing. Extraordinary E Ex Ext x xt t r ra rao a o rd rdi d i n nar di a ar r y and a nd an n d Plenipotentiary Pl le Ple P l enip n nip i p ot o ote t e nt n ti t i a ary nti ar r ryy Diplomatist Di i iplo D p plo l o mat ma at i ist m is s st t • Vol V o ol l 6 • Issue Vo I ssu Is s s su u e 4 • April ss Ap p pr r il i l 2018, Apr A 20 0 01 1 8 , Noida 2 201 Noi No N o oi i d da a • 47 4 7