India needs to update its view on South Asia

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/8/16 23:23:39

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang held talks with his Nepali counterpart Bijay Kumar Gachhadar on Tuesday. The two sides agreed to make joint efforts to further advance pragmatic cooperation between China and Nepal and signed crucial agreements.

Western media has reported on the achievements of Wang's visit, but they have also noted India's anxiety. The Chinese edition of the Financial Times ran an article saying that Nepal's closeness with China makes India nervous.

New Delhi's concerns about South Asian countries developing ties with other major powers are distorted, as its understanding of South Asia no longer fits with the new era. After the withdrawal of British colonists, India became the dominant power of the region. During the Cold War era, major powers were engaged in rivalries in other regions and had no time for India's regional hegemony.

But as the world is globalizing, South Asian countries are reviving. India's outdated mentality of controlling those small countries and suppressing their sovereignty cannot last.

Economic and social development is the core interest of all countries, and expanding foreign exchanges is the precondition for development. The overwhelming significance of geopolitics in international relations has been diluted. Most of the time, it is not the primary concern of inter-state relations. India's neighboring small countries develop ties with China out of goodwill and Beijing does not target any third party. But India's old-fashioned mind-set sees these non-political relations through a geopolitical lens.

India does not allow Bhutan to establish diplomatic ties with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. This arbitrary act has no logic at all on the world stage. Neither Bhutan nor Nepal is willing to accept such abnormal controls by India.

India should abandon its Cold War and regional hegemonic mentalities so it can see a great number of opportunities from a rapidly developing China instead of viewing China as a threat. And it would not feel a sense of crisis simply because China is building a road along the border and therefore send troops to trespass on Chinese territory and obstruct Chinese construction.

India is so narrow-minded that it believes a road along the border can determine the strategic posture between China and India.

India views the small South Asian countries as its backyard, which proves that it lacks global vision. Even the US would not intervene when Latin American countries developed ties with the outside world. Russia didn't oppose the global diplomacy of former Soviet republics.

India should reflect on its attitude toward small South Asian countries and the outside world. It should be open-minded rather than viewing the world as full of dangers and challenges.

No major power is interested in making India its enemy or playing zero-sum geopolitical games with it. The small countries in the southern Himalayas have the right to develop friendly ties with China and India at the same time and it will not jeopardize the interests of either side. 

Posted in: EDITORIAL

blog comments powered by Disqus