Mrutyuanjai Mishra: China and India vying for global influence

15 maj, 2013

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Mrutyuanjai Mishra har en europeisk magister i mänskliga rättigheter och demokrati. Han är flitig krönikör i dansk media, bl a Jyllandsposten samt även i ”Den Korte Avis”. Han är kommentator i dansk TV där han kommenterar internationella frågor rörande Asien. 

Yes, it is official now. One of the most powerful man not only in China but the whole world is heading for his first overseas trip after assuming power. China formally announced yesterday that its new Premier Li Keqiang’s will visit India, which will be the first stop of his maiden foreign tour.    

Li has chosen India to be the first stop of his first foreign tour. Li Keqiang is not the first leader to take such a step. Francois Hollande french president also embarked on his first trip to Asia by visiting India. India matters more and more not only for China but for USA as well. President Barack Obama has called the partnership between India and USA as the defining partnership of the 21st century. All these developments indicate that the center of worlds geopolitical gravity is changing and the new game changers are China and India. Besides India Li Keqiang will also visit Pakistan, Germany and Switzerland.    

India matters to China because trade is expanding between India and China. The two-way trade between India and China is expected to cross the benchmark of  100 billion dollars in 2015. This is good news for the world. But the border crisis between India and China is not. Because all trade and other ties can get jeopardized if India and China get involved in a military tussle. Not only can China and India not afford it, but it will further cause anxiety and destabilize the global economy.  

In Sweden this week, ministers of Nordic Countries along with US, Canada and Russia will take a decision latest by tomorrow if China, Japan, India, EU, and some other organizations should get the observer status. It is interesting that China and India are actually competing heavily for gaining more influence not only in Africa. This competition has actually come to the Nordic shores as well.  

Both these above mentioned meetings are of tremendous significance. India and China can co-operate instead of getting involved in a military tussle. If they succeed in collaborating instead of confronting each other militarily then it will bring prosperity, which in turn will improve the lives of millions in both these countries. But there are reasons to worry and be skeptical. Chinese soldiers had last month, entered Ladakh in India and had for the first time refused to go back. This crisis has just been avoided by diplomatic means and fortunately India did not response with a tit for tat mentality. Instead India used its diplomatic channels to avoid a military confrontation with China.  

China is flexing its military muscles all over Asia. It is sending a clear message to small asian countries like Nepal, Burma, Sri-Lanka that the new regional power is China and they better listen to what China expects from them.    

On the other hand, India´s influence is also increasing as we recently saw in Pakistans election. The winner of Pakistani election is Nawaz Sharif who probably will soon become the prime minister of Pakistan. And Nawaz Sharif has shown all inclination to co-operate and increase trade with India. The big ”if” here is, if the military which actually calls the shots in Pakistan will allow this to happen.  

So in words, a lot of movements taking place where Asian giants China and India, which are also rising military powers as well economic power houses are seeking influence and impacting our world.  

//Mrutyuanjai Mishra 

 

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