Sweet talk by China
In a written interview during his first state visit to the US in September 2015, President Xi described the Chinese Dream as a dream for the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” The text of the 13th Five Year Plan opens and closes with the ambition of creating a “moderately prosperous society,” by doubling GDP per capita by 2020 compared to 2010 levels, a stepping stone on the way to achiev
In a written interview during his first state visit to the US in September 2015, President Xi described the Chinese Dream as a dream for the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” The text of the 13th Five Year Plan opens and closes with the ambition of creating a “moderately prosperous society,” by doubling GDP per capita by 2020 compared to 2010 levels, a stepping stone on the way to achieving “national revival" by 2049.
China will never achieve these goals if it were to work in isolation, looking inward, and, hence, its initiatives like the ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) in which it is desperate to have India as its partner in "its progress.”
After all, the Chinese dream ultimately aims at vaulting the country to the center-stage of international affairs and back to its rightful place in the global order. Indian establishment is fully aware of this ambition of China and its plan to sponge on others while the going is good.
It knows that tucked into the plan for global ascension is still the hard-nosed practical focus on getting China's domestic house in order to counter slowing economic growth and ensure a content population.
Indian concerns are many with regard to China. The rosy talk of OBOR benefits is all peppermint. Pakistan is all at sea over it and several intellectuals have already warned Pakistan about the Chinese land-grabbing intent.
China is wary of India and its capacity to overturn its apple cart. It planned to get connected to 65 countries across three continents with a single-minded pursuit of its future but it grossly miscalculated Indian concerns.
Pakistan and other small players of the region may not understand or even turn a blind eye to the Chinese 2020 Goal because of their over dependence on Chinese investments. India should be top of the list, not the last for China in everything it does.
Another fact is that Xi's political future is hooked to the viability of the project and of late it realised that it would not be sustainable without India's participation and continued peace in the region. As long as China is benign towards the terror havens in Pakistan, there is little it could achieve. New headaches have emerged for China in the conflict scenarios on the Af-Pak border and the Pak-Iran border.
The British Parliament, in late March 2017, tabled a censure motion against Pakistan titled, ‘Annexation of Gilgit-Baltistan by Pakistan as its fifth frontier,’ in which it stridently condemned Pak for its arbitrary incorporation of Gilgit-Baltistan as a province despite its disputed status. The British concurred with the Indian contention in condemning the CPEC “because it aggravates and interferes with the disputed territory.”
This is the beginning. Till now the debate was localised, but not any longer. India needs to do nothing except stick to its stand – no OBOR for us! There is no need for India to complement CPEC. Territorial claim on PoK is India's potential ammunition against the two. It is time India moved towards complete and final integration of J&K. No amount of sweet talk by China should cajole it into accepting CPEC through POK.