Wednesday, 6 July, 2022
E-paper

Delhi Intends to Pursue Foreign Policy with Dhaka by Its Side

  • Jayanta Ghosal
  • 28th March, 2022 04:28:06 PM
  • Print news
Delhi Intends to Pursue Foreign Policy with Dhaka by Its Side

One is always greater than zero. Diplomacy is always complicated. There are many layers in diplomacy. On many occasions, in diplomacy, a little success is considered to be something better than nothing. When a hostile situation exists then a little symbolic photo may be termed as a major achievement. Now is an era of social media. Here an Emoji of love also plays a positive role in absence of any final saying. Hence it turns into ‘yes’ from ‘no.’

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi came to India on a two-day visit. He held a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. He faced journalists at the Hyderabad House. He also sat with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Did the situation abruptly change? Definitely not!

According to the half a glass of water theory, there is still no water in half of the glass, but, how was it that half of the glass got filled? Here, I describe. After the 2020 Chinese aggression in Ladakh, this is the first instance that the Chinese foreign minister paid a visit to India. He is a very important political personality in China. In India, he sat at a top-level meeting. What has been discussed at the meeting a very little of it was published. But, the unpublished description was not that trifling.

On behalf of India, it has been informed that India wants to normalise relations with China. But, the mutual discussion will not bear fruitful result as long as the border conflict remains alive.

Therefore, it is imperative to continue talks. Although no bilateral talks are being held with Pakistan, but, the similar policy is not followed in case of China. China has time and again reiterated for keeping separate the issue of trade and commerce from Sino-Indian conflict. That means, the border conflict will have to be resolved through talks, but, the bilateral trade and commerce will continue. The reason is that if trade and commerce are hampered then the state is also affected with its adverse impact on general people. India was also doing so till date.

In recent times, there is a big volume of trade between the two countries. As per statistics 2021-22, it is almost 95 billion dollars. Around 100 Chinese companies are in operation in India. Chinese dominance in mobile trade is more intense. In recent times, India has imposed some restrictions. Previously, for Chinese trade, a clearance was a necessity. Chinese App used to get approval. Now, strict measures have been taken and lots of bars have also been imposed.     

China again is reluctant to spoil relationship on trade issue. Because of the reason, a proposal for talks was offered from Chinese side. Moreover, there always remains an international pressure. India too knows that it will be improper to create much bitterness so that a war-like situation arises. The situation paves the way for World War III. And, no sane citizen wants to create a situation like that.

An effort to come to an understanding with China goes on. But, earlier, Chinese dignitaries visited Pakistan to hold meetings with Imran Khan. In talks, Imran Khan raised the Kashmir issue. He has offered a proposal of Chinese mediation. Kashmir is a conflicting issue, but an internal affair of India. Despite the fact, China has commented over the issue which goes beyond India’s liking. China always passes remarks inclining towards Pakistan. Therefore, in this case, it is not possible to outright change the entire situation.

Again, this is also true that Pakistan has changed its tone. All of a sudden, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan praised Narendra Modi’s foreign policy as India abstained from voting against Russia at the United Nations (UN) by following the US instruction. Again, India also did not vote in favour of Russia. Any sovereign state should follow such foreign policy. Because of this, Imran Khan highly praised Narendra Modi which lessened heat to some extent. If a person praises another person then through that praise it is possible to ease tension to some extent, even though it fails to bring an end to difference of opinions. This is exactly the thing that has taken place  here.

This discussion is underway at a time when the entire world is perturbed centring Ukraine. Russia and China have made a pre-war alliance. Russia and China even threaten for an alternative world order. About their amity, they are stating that this friendship between the two states has no limits. China has a very dangerous long-term war strategy behind the friendship entering Ukraine.

China is not doing so thinking that Russia will come out victorious in Ukraine war. If Russia does not at all attain victory in this war, even then China will be benefitted. What is China doing there?

By making friendship with Russia, it has made an alliance with the country. By doing so, Mr Xi and Mr Putin will jointly try to create a pressure against the US in the coming days. Actually, an effort is underway to create a new ‘Balance of Power’ by creating pressure over the US. If Putin comes out a loser, then it might be a temporary discomfort for China. But, it is true that China too is trying to make an understanding with the US which it will also do in future. The US is also covertly trying to make friendship with China.

Once, five decades ago, US President Richard Nixon wrote a letter to Beijing expressing an intention to make friendship with China. As a reason, he mentioned that if we can be mutual friends and if we can make a strong alliance, then we shall emerge as the biggest power in the entire world. In that case, other states will become irrelevant. Presently, trade relation between the two countries is very warm. As to why, the US is trying to come to an understanding with China by evading the path of conflict. Nobody can forecast that China too will not proceed for an understanding with the US for its business interest in the coming days to go for an ultimate new equation.

Amid such an uncertainty, India is an important country in the sub-continent. So, it wants to establish a cordial relationship with all its neighbouring countries. But, China has informed that it is going to invest a huge amount of money in a road construction project in Pakistan adjacent to its border. Over the economy corridor, India remained worried for long. China mentioned about this investment in such a manner that India, on one side, intends to improve ties with China, while China is trying to ease the war-like situation that exists between Pakistan and India.

In the same manner, the interest of Bangladesh has got involved with the interest of India. Whatever India does, it should do it taking Bangladesh into confidence through discussion. It should do taking Bangladesh by its side. I too think that the Indian prime minister intends to move forward keeping Bangladesh very much with him.  

Indian Minister for Foreign Affairs Jaishankar had a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during his visit to Dhaka. Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla acted as the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh where he is still very popular. In Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s page, there are innumerable fans from Bangladesh. Sometimes, I get amazed observing this. I heard that during his visit to Dhaka, a big list of interviewers was prepared who wanted an audience with him. Shringla tried to meet with them as much as possible.

His personal relationship with Bangladesh is such that the people of the country still give value to this emotion. There has also emerged a complex equation in India to keep Bangladesh by its side. On one side, the Ukraine war, while on the other side, the equation of China and Russia. Again, on the other side, there is the threatening posture of US. In such a situation, India wants to move forward in its own way and wants to move very cautiously. But it wants to hold tight the hands of Bangladesh. India wants to wage the war of foreign policy together with Bangladesh.

The writer is a senior journalist based in New Delhi

Translated by Z A M Khairuzzaman

Source: Sun Editorial