The Gordian knot - Doklam - EXCLUSIVE | Eurasia Diary -

23 August, Friday

The Gordian knot - Doklam - EXCLUSIVE

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The Doklam dispute is the latest in a long-running series of territorial flare-ups between the two largest BRICS economies - India and China. In 1962, the two countries engaged in a bloody border war, and skirmishes have continued to break out sporadically in the decades since. Political and economic comentator Einar Tangen answered Eurasia Diary's questions on this issue. 
Einar Tangen
Economic and Political Affairs Commentator
What is a root of the conflict and why it became more sensitive for both sides and the region again?
- China and India never shared a border historically; it was a left over from the British Colonial period. So, while the two civilizations share a common culture and trade history, they now have to sort out the realities of a border situation which was artificially defined by others. It is compounded by China's faster economic rise, friendship with Pakistan, the erosion of traditional spheres of influence and the election of Trump.  
What is its political and economic importance for both countries?
Source: The World Bank
- Two largest consumer markets in the world, together they are over 1/3 of the world’s population. China represents a successful post-cold war economic and political hybrid, which has drawn attention from many developing nations looking to emerge. India is a sleeping tiger, but will have to leapfrog developed nations to achieve its goal of parity with developed nations. Each has issues with their current political systems involving corruption, bureaucratic inefficiency and effectiveness. 
Nowadays US said that it "supports to return of status quo on Doklam issue". What is the role of external factors in this issue? And how much are they influential? 
- The US wants to use India as a doorstop against China's economic and political expansion. An armed, or economic,conflict would damage India and China's growth rates and thereby prop up the US's power and influence.
China and India's joint declaration to the US and EU that they need to end their agricultural subsides, last week,was a strong statement that India cannot be taken for granted and that the two largest consumer markets in the world intend to use their power to advance their own agendas.
Upcoming BRICS summit. Do you consider that this summit will change anything on this issue? 
- If Modi endorses Xi's Belt and Road Initiative and indicates willingness to cooperate on putting a trade route through India, it will be a game changer. India could offer a safer less complicated trade route alternative to the Pakistan-Afghanistan route; it would give India a vital piece of infrastructure linking inland areas to Africa, Europe and China. In return expect Xi to relent on India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Farid Hasanov

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