China has formed “long-term strategic aims” in South Asia, with the possible goal of encircling India. In order to gain strategic influence in the region, China is pouring large amounts of money into the region through trade diplomacy.
The Irrawaddy reported on Wednesday that China quietly established a crucial rail link via Myanmar to gain access to the Indian Ocean when the world was preoccupied with the Afghanistan crisis a few months ago.
As the world’s first rail link between China and the Indian Ocean is completed, cargo shipments into China’s landlocked Yunnan Province will be much shorter in transit time. There is little doubt that Beijing has given the freshly constructed train line to Myanmar’s military dictatorship in order to reap financial benefits from the project.
According to The Irrawaddy, the commerce route was inaugurated exactly two months after China began operating a fully-electric high-speed train service between Tibet’s capital Lhasa and Nyingchi, a strategically-located border town opposite India’s Arunachal Pradesh State.
In 2020, sources stated that Beijing was involved in laying the groundwork for a projected railway line connecting Lhasa with Kathmandu, and then on to Lumbini, which is near to the India-Nepal border, according to the report. The Communist regime in China is attempting to strategically encircle India as a result of all of these developments. One or more of these projects is linked to China’s Belt and Road programme, which is a worldwide connectivity project.
The security ramifications of these initiatives, on the other hand, are considerable for the city of Delhi.
According to The Irrawaddy, China analyst Kalpit A Mankikar stated, “Regarding the Myanmar project, it appears to be a trade-focused project, providing China with its first road-rail transport link to the Indian Ocean.” He added, “Regarding the Myanmar project, it appears to be a trade-focused project, providing China with its first road-rail transport link to the Indian Ocean.” This eliminates the need to travel via the Malacca Straits.”
In an interview with The Irrawaddy, an expert stated that “the newly-launched railway line from Myanmar’s border will service the vital commercial hub of Chengdu in western China.” China has long-term objectives in mind when it makes huge development investments in other countries, and Nepal and Bangladesh are the most recent countries to be targeted by the Chinese government.
Beijing is the largest foreign investor in Nepal, which is a signatory to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and it has contributed US$188 million for the country’s fiscal year 2020-21.
The Chinese government maintained close ties with the Nepalese communists, who had been in power only a few months before the earthquake. It is also suspected that the merger of two left-wing parties in Nepal in 2018 was orchestrated by the Chinese government. However, as a result of internal feuds and the loss of confidence suffered by the former prime minister KP Sharma Oli, the Nepalese communists are currently in disarray.
China wishes to leverage its own resources in Southeast Asian countries through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects. According to The Irrawaddy, Beijing produces a large amount of cement and steel, which would be used in the projects. Beijing also produces a large amount of cement and steel.