Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Friday, April 28, 2017 04:10:00 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The Game of Chess at the Indian Ocean

photo by

10th-Mar-2017       Readers ( 1119 )   0 Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all (0) »

K M Ishmam :
International politics is like a game of chess. The players here like in the game of chess try to out maneuver each other by playing out various moves that are sometimes quite obvious or sometimes a bit opaque. The oceans of the world have always been a major theatre of action in the realm of international politics. As we all know that the mastery of the oceans leads to global domination. Britain has showed this at time of their imperial zenith and now it is being displayed by the US. Almost everyone is quite familiar with the ambitions of China and other players in the South China Sea because of all the global media attention surrounding the region. But another theatre is slowly taking shape in the Indian Ocean. Though it has not caught the imagination of the media like South China Sea but is also very important as it involves the next two super powers of the world India and China.
The latest visit of the Chinese premiere to Bangladesh was observed with a lot of caution by the policy makers of India. The buying of submarines which were worth 203 million by Bangladesh from the Chinese had unnerved some of the defence analysts in India. They were perplexed about the need of these submarines by Bangladesh as it has already solved its maritime issues with Myanmar and India. The paranoia among the Indian policy makers is quite understandable because the Chinese influence in South-Asia has been steadily growing and it collides with the ambition of India in the region.
After the 1962 war the relationship between the two regional powers have always been covered by a cloud of mistrust. China backing Pakistan and India not acknowledging the claims of China about 'Tibet' make matters worse. China also doesn't recognize India's control over the 'Arunachal' province. The scenario becomes even more complex if we bring in the disputed territories of 'Kashmir' between India and Pakistan. Already having these complex land-boundary issues the competition among these two big nations for the control over the 'Indian Ocean' is a matter of concern for all the inhabitants of the region. The 'Indian Ocean' is important for China because it uses the ocean as a major route to carry fuel to mainland China. China has a massive demand for oil. It consumes 11 million barrels per day according to CNBC. So naturally China will be aggressive in asserting control over these routes. Then again the 12.4 trillion dollar (nominal) Chinese economy depends mainly on export and businesses with the outside world so the sea becomes absolutely vital for it. In order to increase its connectivity with the rest of Asia and some parts of Europe it has coined some connectivity models. These are commonly known as the 'One Belt One Road,' 'The New Silk Route Economic Belt' and 'Maritime Silk Route.' These are the ideas of the Chinese premiere Xi Jinping. The planned "Maritime Silk Route" plans to connect mainland China with the rest of South-East Asia. It is a historical route which was invented by Zheng He. He used to travel from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean to sell Chinese goods from 14051433. After his death the route slowly closed down. It is even mentioned that he had at some point came to 'Sonargaon' of Bangladesh. China is also considering reviving the 2000 years old silk route. They are terming it as the 'New Silk Route Economic Belt.' The 'One Belt One Road' connectivity plan reveals that it will connect China with Madrid via middle Asia. This is a massive plan that includes 60 countries. This two thrust approach by China is definitely aimed at global as well as regional supremacy.
India is wary of all these connectivity approaches of China. The 'CPEC' or 'China-Pakistan Economic Corridor' is a massive cause of concern for India as it passes along the Indian part of the Kashmir. 'CPEe' is a massive 54 billion dollar project which aims to connect the Xinjiang province of China to Gawadar port of Pakistan which is located at the Balochistan province. It is aimed to cut down the time required to carry oil from the gulf to China. India has claimed that all these connectivity approaches by China are just a camouflage of their military ambition known as the "String of Pearlsl/. This term was coined by a US analyst who claimed that China aims to build military bases in every important port in the Indian Ocean. India claims this is directly aimed to suppress India's economic and political influence in the region. The presence of a Chinese submarine in the Hambantota port of Sri Lanka which was consequently built by the Chinese made a lot of hue and cry in the Indian media. This is the reason why Indians show so much concern about our closeness to China. India has put forward the India Doctrine. It is an Indian version of the Monroe Doctrine. India states that it will not tolerate any foreign power in the Indian Ocean. In the Indian Rim Summit held at Bhuvenshwar in 2014, India had mentioned this pretty clearly.
The things have gotten more interesting as USA have gotten into the frame. Barack Obama's Pivot to Asia policy has made India and USA come closer. The LEMOA agreement signed on 29 August 2016 allows both the country to use naval, air and military bases of the countries to repair military equipments and maintain the lines of supply. Some analysts have pointed out that it is an agreement that is directly aimed to control the Chinese influence. Agreements like CISMOA, BECA etc are also in line. So a US-INDIA coalition is building in the region. India is also playing its share of mischief in the South China Sea. India -Vietnam military co-operations are gradually building up which is not at all liked by the Chinese.
India and China are currently the number 2 and number 5 economies of the world. They are also important members in organizations like BRICS, AIIB etc. So a peaceful relationship that revolves around trust and friendship is needed not only for regional prosperity but for global economic progress. For Bangladesh we have to stay out as much as we can from these sorts of tussles of the major powers.
We have to make them believe that we only care for our prosperity and regional peace. We don't want to get ourselves involved in the regional conflicts of the rising powers as from real life experience we know that what can happen to a small nation if they get too much involved in such conflicts. Bangladesh till now is doing a good job of not tilting too much towards any side .Our foreign office will have to make sure that we keep it that way to maintain our image as a friendly non-aligned nation of South-Asia. n
(K M lshmam is a student of Department of Soil, Water and Environment, University of Dhaka)

0 Comments. Share your thoughts also.
Write a comment
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

City »

Barrister Mainul Hosein making a point on `terrorism` and `quality of democracy` at former British Prime Minister David Cameron`s meeting with the members of the Civil Society at a city hotel on Thursday.

Editorial »

Industries must work with varsities for manpower development

THE government's Vision 2021 that aims at attaining middle income status for the country would be almost impossible if the country fails to immediately develop skilled workforce and manpower for managerial role in different industries. Experts at a seminar in the city on Wednesday made the point saying that a ...

Sports »

Five players share top spot in Sub-Junior Chess

Five players are sharing lead at the points table with maximum 3 points each after the completion of the third round games in the SGS 36th National Sub-Junior (Under-16) Chess Championships-2017.This meet is being sponsored by Saif Global Sports and organised by Bangladesh Chess Federation is now being held at ...

Football »

Bangladesh Under-16 National Women`s Football team return to Bangladesh Football Federation House from China on Thursday.

Entertainment »

Deepika soaring the heat in Raabta title track

The title track of Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon starrer has been released. Earlier a teaser video was launched by the makers in which Sushant and Kriti were watching a video and both were awestruck with the beauty and the hotness of the star. It was published on Facebook ...

Entertainment »

Prabhas wants this special person to watch Baahubali 2 first

While the whole country is eagerly waiting to watch this most awaited film, Prabhas wants his mother to be among the first ones to watch the film. Prabhas gave 5 years of sheer dedication and undivided attention to this magnum opus .His mother has seen him through all these years ...

International »

Anger and hope: Voters reflect on Trump`s first 100 days in office

AFP, Los Angeles :As Donald Trump approaches his 100th day in office, AFP sought out two voters-one a supporter and another an opponent of the president-to gauge what they thought of his performance so far.Clark is an oil industry executive in California's conservative Central Valley, the state's agricultural heartland where ...

Editorial »

Corruption at BRTA office needs to be held in check

IT is not unknown that government offices are safe haven for systematic corruption and where it is for rendering service to people the severity of harassment is all the more at work including extortion of money in different names. Media report on Wednesday said transport owners pay at least Tk ...

Football »

Noted sports writer Ekramuzzaman speaking at a memorial meeting of Mohammad Selim at the conference room of Dhaka Metropolis Football League Committee on Wednesday. Bangladesh Sports Press Association arranged the condolence meeting.

BSS, Dhaka

Entertainment »

Zaheer Khan-Sagarika Ghatge are now `Partners for life,` announced their engagement

If you are still not over with the much talked about marriage of Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech, then get ready for another! Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan, yesterday, announced that he has finally sealed the deal with a dazzling rock on his girlfriend Sagarika Ghatge’s finger. Announcing the news of ...

Entertainment »

Nazrul Academy’s Sahitya Adda : Nazrul Academy arranged its regular monthly session ‘Sahitya Adda’ recently at Nazrul Academy Bhaban at Belalabad in the city’s Mogbazar area. Vice president of Nazrul Academy Md Abdul Hannan chaired the meeting. Discussion on Nazrul’s Bidrohi poem and its research works were discussed by Hasan Alim.

City »

BUET Teachers Association observed a sit-in-programme in front of Academic Council Building on the BUET campus demanding their due pay-scale yesterday.

International »

China launches first home-built aircraft carrier amid South China Sea tension

Reuters, Beijing :China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier on Wednesday amid rising tension over North Korea and worries about Beijing's assertiveness in the South China Sea.State media has quoted military experts as saying the carrier, China's second and built in the northeastern port of Dalian, is not expected ...

Sports »

Colin Smith, FIFA`s Competitions Director (right) FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura (centre) and Vitaly Mutko, Russia's deputy prime minister in charge of sport, tourism and youth policies, attend a news conference after the Russia 2018 LOC Board meeting with FIFA participation in St.Petersburg, Russia on Tuesday.


Editorial »

Insufficient relief brings no hope to haor people

THE government relief operation in flood-hit haors where people have lost Boro crops in the field and livestock to become utterly helpless, seems to be quite inadequate and we believe it must be upward revised. Its relief scheme for 100 days to cover around 3.3 lakh poor families is quite ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news