Thursday, June 18, 2020

China-India tensions: A game of chess?

Admiral James Stavridis (author of the Bloomberg article, link below) is a wise man and his article is exquisitely written and worth reading. I wouldn’t agree with parts of it however. I read: […]One Belt, One Road has one big problem: India, which sits athwart the trade lanes China wants to use to dominate in the 21st century. In that sense, the Himalayan dispute is about control of the Indian Ocean[…].
We have addressed all these issues in our (with Olaf Merk) forthcoming Working Paper (already on the website of ITF-OECD). Assuming naval control was indeed the issue, the Indian Ocean (Bay of Bengal) could be much more effectively controlled through China's investments in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, rather than from the Himalayan plateaus, 5 km above sea level! And it is precisely for this reason India has deployed her navy in the Andaman Sea (Andaman and Nicobar islands), outside the Hambantota-Kyaukpyu notional line that connects the two ports (in Sri Lanka and Myanmar respectively), and, in her view, in a way 'fences off' the Bay of Bengal.
Instead, we believe the ‘message’ of the current Himalayan tensions to PM Modi is a different one: “If you want a good neighbor who doesn’t put his music too loud in the evening, please don’t get too much in bed with the US”.
That simple.
Here is the Bloomberg article of Admiral James Stavridis
Here is our OECD paper

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