China's startegic forays in south asia : Contextualising india's concerns
Lone, Mansoor Ahmad
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China's terrific rise and all-round development in almost all fields have provided her an identity in the International system as one of the great power. China's focus has now changed and the older views are giving way to wider engagement in adjoining areas. China shares borders with many south Asian countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan. Therefore, within the Chinese foreign policy, South Asia is becoming an important element. South Asia's increasing strategic importance has resulted in the increasing Chinese involvement in the region. The compelling factors for China to have an increased engagement in South Asia involve; to sustain the fast growing economy by securing the resources in these countries; Containment of India's rise to become a global power so that it may not affect China's rise; to maintain territorial integrity. In order to achieve these objectives, China is cultivating relations with the countries in South Asia by giving much needed economic assistance, infrastructure building, arms and ammunition transfers and in some countries nuclear weapon technology transfers as well especially to Pakistan. The countries with which China is increasingly involved rival to India in one way or the other. Therefore, it is obvious that such engagement will automatically harm India's interests in many ways in these countries. China in order to secure the energy needs has started to pursue a strategy called 'String of Pearls' vi through which China is building port facilities in the littoral states of Indian Ocean through which most of the crude oil is imported by China. These states include Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. By the way, such a strategy has lead to the encirclement of India, which may be a potential danger in future. India fears that China, who has a long pending unresolved border dispute with her, could use such port facilities for military purpose in future. Thus has created concerns for India. India needs to search better policy options to cautiously counter such a strategy of China, in order to retain greater consistency in her economy, and to maintain territorial integrity.