Millennium Post

Dragon alert

Dragon alert
China has shot another arrow that may irk India's foreign security concerns. Looking to further the CPEC, an essential aspect of the Belt and Road initiative, China has roped in a trilateral agreement involving both Pakistan and Afghanistan, seeking to neutralise the sour relations between the neighbours while tacitly aiming to further its influence across Asia. China has been undeterred in its ambition of building a 21st-century maritime silk route in the south and a chain of roads in the north, which in its totality would link Asia to Europe. In an attempt to reduce the influence of both the US and India in Afghanistan, China has shot with all guns blazing to involve Afghanistan in the CPEC initiative, which is already being protested by India as it passes through the disputed Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir region. Though China has said that its initiative is purely economic without impinging upon territorial conflicts, the disconcerting friendship between Pakistan and China has been worrisome for India, particularly given how Kashmir continues to be in turmoil. Pakistan and Afghanistan have shared a dimming relationship, with allegations being raised by the latter, in recent times, of Pakistan fomenting terror and lending support to the Taliban that continues to rattle the US-backed government in Afghanistan. China, tapping into this murky territory of bittering ties, is extending the demeanour of a benefactor while actually looking to increase its influence across the region. By including Afghanistan in the CPEC initiative, China maybe lending it access to the Gwadar Port in Pakistan—this is also the end point of the CPEC. By extending this assistance, China will attempt to reduce the significance of the Iran-India-Afghanistan tie which gives Afghanistan access to the Iranian Port of Chabahar. China's dreams of reining the dragon across the continent, it believes, will meet fruition by strengthening infrastructure through the construction of a network of highways, railways, pipelines and optical cables. China has been breathing fire upon the entire Asian continent—a positive that displays the raging power of the country but also on the flipside, emphasises its focus on the brutal exhibition of control, even beyond its territory. The US has long sidelined China and now Pakistan too, under the allegations of cocooning terror on its grounds. This has provided the perfect base for the two countries to coalesce their interests against the US and consequently India too, which has been a favourable ally of the superpower. Roping in Afghanistan to further its economic and regional prowess will surely discomfort India. But unlike China, India has more to deal with on its own land with less time to focus on cross territorial pursuits. Accelerating the pedal, India must become more cautious of the Xi empire and its outright quest of gaining regional supremacy.
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