Friday March 22, 2019
Home Politics China is like...

China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in restive Balochistan

Hu noted the growing defence cooperation between India and the US was also a worrying factor of China

0
//
Nathu La Pass, India China border. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

– by Gaurav Sharma

Beijing, August 28, 2016: China will have “to get involved” if any Indian “plot” disrupts the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in restive Balochistan, an influential Chinese think tank has warned India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech is the “latest concern” for China and among its scholars, Hu Shisheng, the Director of the Institute of South and Southeast Asian and Oceanian Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), told IANS in a freewheeling interview.

The researcher, at one of China’s most powerful think tanks, which is affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, also said India’s growing military ties with the US and its changed attitude on the disputed South China Sea are ringing alarm bells for China.

“The latest concern for China is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the Red Fort in which he referred to the issues like Kashmir (occupied by Pakistan) and Balochistan,” Hu said.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

“It could be regarded as a watershed moment in India’s policy towards Pakistan. Why Chinese scholars are concerned is because this is for the first time India has mentioned it,” he added.

Hu said China fears India may use “anti-government” elements in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan where Beijing is building the $46 billion CPEC — a key to the success of its ambitious One Road One Belt project.

“There is concern that India may take the same approach, which is believed by the Indian side Pakistan is taking, asymmetrically using anti-government factors in Pakistan,” Hu said on the expansive and leafy campus of CICIR.

“If this kind of plot causes damage to the CPEC, China will have to get involved,” he said, referring to the alleged involvement of India in backing separatists in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The ongoing CPEC will connect China’s largest province, Xinjiang, with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in Balochistan, hit by rebels and separatists. India has strongly opposed the corridor as it will pass through Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir which it claims as its own.

Islamabad has long accused India of fomenting trouble in this region — a charge denied by New Delhi.

However, Modi’s reference to the region, experts say, is a signal to Pakistan that New Delhi could raise tensions in the region as a tit for tat for Pakistan’s backing for terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.

“This will not help Pakistan to become a normal country. And it will also further disturb India-China relations,” Hu pointed out.

ChinaPakistanEconomicCorridor Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
ChinaPakistanEconomicCorridor
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hu noted the growing defence cooperation between India and the US was also a worrying factor of China.

“In the past, China was not so much concerned about India’s security cooperation with other countries, especially with the US. But now Chinese scholars can feel the concern,” Hu said.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

He said the defence cooperation between New Delhi and Washington had increased significantly after Modi took over as Prime Minster.

He also referred to US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s visit to India in April during which both the countries agreed in principle to sign the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).

“There is a renewal of defence and technological cooperation (between India and the US) for another 10 years, enhancing the cooperation under the framework of DTTI (Defence Technology and Trade Initiative),” Hu added.

“This is an alarming signal to China. It is a concern for China,” the expert said.

He also said India will have to resist pressure exerted by the US and Japan to join them in countering China. “We also know that the US and Japan, as well as Australia, are very keen on getting India in their camp. They are also exerting pressure”.

“They are also luring India by giving high-technology deals and advanced military weapons. It is up to India whether India can resist this kind of temptation,” Hu said.

India’s involvement in the South China Sea dispute was another irritant in the already strained relationship between India and China, Hu added.

“In the past, India’s stand on the South China Sea was impartial. Indian is getting more and more involved. This attitude is another concern for China,” noted Hu.

“We know that India has a national interest in maintaining freedom of navigation and aviation, but China in the past has done nothing to block the so-called freedom of navigation.”

“Our problem is with the US. We can see India is becoming more vocal in issuing joint statements with the US and Japan on the South China Sea,” he added.

A UN court in July rejected China’s claims over the so-called Nine-Dash line — which covers almost 90 percent of the contested South China Sea — and backed the Philippines which has overlapping claims in the oil and natural gas-rich waters, which are also partly claimed by Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

Beijing rejected the verdict as “illegal”.

India, 55 per cent of whose trade passes through the Strait of Malacca that opens into the South China Sea, has asked the parties to peacefully resolve the dispute and show utmost respect to the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea. (IANS)

ALSO READ:

Next Story

U.S. Tariffs on China Could Remain Same, Even After Reaching The Trade Deal

Tariffs on imported automobiles — as are being contemplated by the White House — "would be counterproductive, like we have seen with steel tariffs," said Srinivasan, who was part of former President Barack Obama's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership task force.

0
Trade Deal
Shipping containers, including one labeled "China Shipping," are stacked at the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal in Boston, Mass., May 9, 2018. VOA

U.S. tariffs on China are likely to remain in place for a while, even if a trade deal is reached, President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday.

“The deal is coming along nicely,” the president said about the trade talks with Beijing, noting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would be heading to China within days to continue discussions.

“We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars right now in tariff money, and for a period of time that will stay,” Trump said.

The president’s remarks indicated that Washington’s tariffs could stay in place until U.S. officials are convinced the Chinese are adhering to the terms of the agreement.

“They’ve had a lot of problems living by certain deals,” the president noted on the White House South Lawn just before boarding the Marine One helicopter.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Ohio from the White House in Washington, March 20, 2019.
President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Ohio from the White House in Washington, March 20, 2019. VOA

China might accept a deal in which most of the U.S. tariffs are rolled back, according to Brookings Institution senior fellow David Dollar, but he said he expected President Xi Jinping would not accept any pact in which no tariffs were lifted.

“It’s very hard for the Chinese president to agree to a deal that’s so clearly asymmetric. Chinese people are so active on the internet and social media, and President Xi will hear about it from the people if he makes a deal that looks bad for China,” Dollar told VOA.

Tit-for-tat tariffs imposed last year ignited fears of a trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, which annually trade more than a half-trillion dollars’ worth of goods.

The value of Chinese products sold in the United States far outweighs the value of those sent to China, and that deficit alone represents about 80 percent of America’s overall trade gap in goods.

A pillar of the Trump presidency has been reducing that huge gap by negotiating bilateral trade deals and rebuilding the U.S. manufacturing base.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters as he arrives at Allen County Airport, March 20, 2019, in Lima, Ohio.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters as he arrives at Allen County Airport, March 20, 2019, in Lima, Ohio. VOA

Trump traveled Wednesday to an area in Ohio where General Motors is set to shutter a car assembly plant, affecting about 1,500 jobs and undercutting the president’s manufacturing revival message.

“What’s going on with General Motors?” Trump asked during a speech. “Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it. Everybody wants it.”

“Intervening to try to keep one factory open isn’t going to do much for the economy” at a time when manufacturing is declining as a share of the overall job market, said Dollar, of the Brookings Institution. “It’s a bad precedent for politicians to intervene like that.”

A resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Claude Barfield, agrees presidents should not intervene in individual corporate decisions.

“The president is woefully ignorant about trade and this part of the economy. He thinks it does help. I don’t think it does at all help,” Barfield, a former consultant to the office of the U.S. trade representative, told VOA.

The closure of the GM plant in Lordstown, according to a Cleveland State University study, will result in a total loss of 7,700 jobs in the region, including supply chain and consumer services employment tied to the auto plant, cutting 10 percent of the gross regional product in the greater Youngstown area.

Trump, in his remarks on Wednesday, placed some of the blame on the United Auto Workers, the union representing the GM workers.

“Your union leaders aren’t on our side,” Trump declared. “They could have kept General Motors” operating the Lordstown plant.

FILE - Employees watch as the last Chevrolet Cruze rolls off the assembly line at the General Motors Co. assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, March 6, 2019, in this photo obtained from social media.
Employees watch as the last Chevrolet Cruze rolls off the assembly line at the General Motors Co. assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, March 6, 2019, in this photo obtained from social media. VOA

Trump spoke at a facility in Lima that makes the M1 Abrams tank for the U.S. Army, about 300 kilometers from the idled auto factory.

“You better love me. I kept this place open,” Trump told workers at the General Dynamics facility, which was nearly closed six years ago after Army officials told Congress they did not need the additional tanks.

Workers listen as President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Lima Army Tank Plant, March 20, 2019, in Lima, Ohio.
Workers listen as President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the Lima Army Tank Plant, March 20, 2019, in Lima, Ohio. VOA

Ohio, which Trump won in the 2016 election by 8 percentage points, again will be a key battleground state in next year’s presidential election.

Polls in the Buckeye State, where the president relies on a strong base of working-class voters, show his approval rating slipping.

Trade and tariffs are “not even the core issue about retaining the manufacturing jobs in this region,” University of Akron associate professor Mahesh Srinivasan, who is director of the school’s Institute of Global Business, told VOA.

Srinivasan said the focus by the Trump administration should not be so much on trade agreements as on “the inevitable march of automation and technology that has displaced workers from traditional jobs. The need of the hour is doubling down with even more emphasis on worker training and education to prepare the workforce for tomorrow’s jobs.”

Also Read: Starting With The 2024 Hurricane Season, US Meteorologists Replaces Hurricane Names Florence, Michael

Tariffs on imported automobiles — as are being contemplated by the White House — “would be counterproductive, like we have seen with steel tariffs,” said Srinivasan, who was part of former President Barack Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership task force. “It could attract retaliatory tariffs that will negatively impact numerous automobile manufacturers in Ohio and other Midwestern states, which today are supplying to automobile manufacturers globally.”

Some trade analysts agree that Trump’s metals tariffs on Canada and Mexico have hurt American manufacturing, including making U.S. auto plants less competitive. (VOA)