by Pepe Escobar with permission from the author and first posted at Asia Times
There was a time when New Delhi was proudly selling the notion of establishing its own New Silk Road – from the Gulf of Oman to the intersection of Central and South Asia – to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Now it looks like the Indians have stabbed themselves in the back.
In 2016, Tehran and New Delhi signed a deal to build a 628-km rail line from strategic Chabahar port to Zahedan, very close to the Afghan border, with a crucial extension to Zaranj, in Afghanistan, and beyond.
The negotiations involved Iranian Railways and Indian Railway Constructions Ltd. But in the end nothing happened – because of Indian foot-dragging. So Tehran has decided to build the railway anyway, with its own funds – $400 million – and completion scheduled for March 2022.
The railway was supposed to be the key transportation corridor linked to substantial Indian investments in Chabahar, its port of entry from the Gulf of Oman for an alternative New Silk Road to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
Upgrading rail/road infrastructure from Afghanistan to its neighbors Tajikistan and Uzbekistan would be the next step. The whole operation was inscribed in a trilateral India-Iran-Afghanistan deal – signed in 2016 in Tehran by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
The unofficial New Delhi excuse revolves around fears that the project would be slammed with US sanctions. New Delhi actually did get a Trump administration sanctions waiver for Chabahar and the rail line to Zahedan. The problem was to convince an array of investment partners, all of them terrified of being sanctioned.
In fact, the whole saga has more to do with Modi’s wishful thinking of expecting to get preferential treatment under the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy, which relies on a de facto Quad (US, India, Australia, Japan) containment of China. That was the rationale behind New Delhi deciding to cut off all its oil imports from Iran.
So far all practical purposes, India threw Iran under the bus. No wonder Tehran decided to move on its own, especially now with the $400 billion, 25-year “Comprehensive Plan for Cooperation between Iran and China”, a deal that seals a strategic partnership between China and Iran.
In this case, China may end up exercising control over two strategic “pearls” in the Arabian Sea/Gulf of Oman only 80 km away from each other: Gwadar, in Pakistan, a key node of the $61 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and Chabahar.
Tehran, so far, has denied that Chabahar port will be offered on a lease to Beijing. But what is a real possibility, apart from Chinese investments in an oil refinery near Chabahar, and even, in the long run, in the port itself, is an operational link between Gwadar and Chabahar. That will be complemented by the Chinese operating the port of Bandar-e-Jask in the Gulf of Oman, 350 km to the west of Chabahar and very close to the hyper-strategic Strait of Hormuz.
How corridors attract
Not even a Hindu deity on hangover could possibly imagine a more counter-productive “strategy” for Indian interests in case New Delhi backs off from its cooperation with Tehran.
Let’s look at the essentials. What Tehran and Beijing will be working on is a de facto massive expansion of CPEC, with Gwadar linked to Chabahar and further onwards to Central Asia and the Caspian via Iranian railways, as well as connected to Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean (via Iraq and Syria), all the way to the EU.
This game-changing progress will be at the heart of the whole Eurasian integration process – uniting China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and of course Russia, which is linked to Iran via the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
For the moment, for all its hefty reverberations in multiple areas – upgrade of energy infrastructure, refurbishing of ports and refineries, construction of a connectivity corridor, investments in manufacturing, and a steady supply of Iranian oil and gas, a matter of national security for China – there’s no question that the Iran-China deal is being effectively downplayed by both sides.
The reasons are self-evident: not to raise the Trump administration’s ire to even more incandescent levels, considering both actors are considered “existential threats”. Still, Mahmoud Vezi, chief of staff for President Rouhani, guarantees the final Iran-China deal with be signed by March 2021.
CPEC, meanwhile, is on a roll. What Chabahar was supposed to do for India is already in effect at Gwadar – as transit trade to Afghanistan started only a few days ago, with bulk cargo arriving from the UAE. Gwadar is already establishing itself as a key transit hub to Afghanistan – way ahead of Chabahar.
For Kabul, the strategic factor is essential. Afghanistan essentially depends on overland routes from Pakistan – some can be extremely unreliable – as well as Karachi and Port Qasim. Especially for southern Afghanistan, the overland link from Gwadar, through Balochistan, is much shorter and safer.
For Beijing, the strategic factor is even more essential. For China, Chabahar would not be a priority, because access to Afghanistan is easier, for instance, via Tajikistan.
But Gwadar is a completely different story. It’s being configured, slowly but surely, as the key Maritime Silk Road hub connecting China with the Arabian Sea, the Middle East and Africa, with Islamabad collecting hefty transit funds. Win-win in a nutshell – but always taking into consideration that protests and challenges from Balochistan simply won’t disappear, and require very careful management by Beijing-Islamabad.
Chabahar-Zahedan was not the only recent setback for India. India’s External Affairs Ministry has recently admitted that Iran will develop the massive Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf “on its own” and India might join “appropriately at a later stage”. The same “at a later stage” spin was applied by New Delhi for Chabahar-Zahedan.
The exploration and production rights for Farzad B were already granted years ago for India’s state company ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL). But then, again, nothing happened – due to the proverbial specter of sanctions.
Sanctions, by the way, had been in effect already under Obama. Yet at the time, India and Iran at least traded goods for oil. Farzad B was scheduled to be back on track after the signing of the JCPOA in 2015. But then Trump’s sanctions iced it again.
It doesn’t take a PhD in political science to ascertain who may eventually take over Farzad B: China, especially after the signing of the 25-year partnership next year.
India, against its own energy and geostrategic interests, has in fact been reduced to the status of hostage of the Trump administration. The real target of applying Divide and Rule to India-Iran is to prevent them from trading in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar, especially when it comes to energy.
The Big Picture though is always about New Silk Road progress across Eurasia. With increasing evidence of closer and closer integration between China, Iran and Pakistan, what’s clear is that India remains integrated only with its own inconsistencies.
Great piece — thank you, Pepe Escobar.
Incompetent, ultra-reactionary fools like Narendra Modi and the Ukronazis achieve this kind of setbacks and humiliations with arrogance and pride. What’s ailing them is that their designated enemies — China and Russia, respectively — are not hurt the slightest by the idiots’ inferior yapping, hence calling the latters’ use value seriously into question among their foreign sponsors.
Sure, you seem to be so sure of your convictions. All I see is bias and a mouthful of ramble. Anyways, Gwadar is built in country of Baluchistan, that will one day be a free country, like Xinjiang and CPEC travels through contested territory and cannot be without future problems.
Basically “Iron Brother”, Pakistan sold it’s “Eternal Brother” a bill of rotten goods and got China is permanent twist. You know, can only occupy land, cannot take it home like money or gold or diamonds.
Chabahar, was good in intent, like IPI. They built a rail to Afghanistan border and has transported enough grains to Afghanistan, that your Pepe forgets to mention.
What the current govt realized is Iran played India and China and Russia and it was getting costly for India. Oil is cheap and Iran’s mullahs and FM did open their mouths rather too loudly on India’s CAA, NRC and abolishing 370. That’s absolute interference. Where was their mouth on Xinjiang? India has second most Shia population after Iran and typically savvy Iraninans for a moment got caught in the heat of moment.
To top it, during Covid, Iran literally threw the Indian workers under the bus and told them to get out somehow. Though India did supply HCQ to Iran and PPE without too much ado.
Well Pepe forgot that too.
Anyways, Chabahar was not a worthwhile vanity project probably Iran and India will work on a gas pipeline from Chabahar to Mundra which is a doable 550 miles.
Your reaction is of a very hurt hindutva ideologue, Hindutva Fascism has pretty much undone Indias rise which was extremely short-lived. Now then; by your logic if Xinjiang and Baluchistan will be independent then the same logic applies to Kashmir with hosts of UN resolutions declaring it a disputed territory. The Sikhs are clamouring for free and independent Khalistan, recently Indian government desperately pleaded with British government to stop the Sikhs from protesting in London on Indias Independence Day, needless to say without much success.
Historically speaking; already India has been carved out into several nations? two major countries broke away with large chunks of territories, namely Pakistan and Bangladesh. By Indias own admission there are thirteen insurgencies presently going on in india, with demands for free Mezoland, Free Bengal, Free Assam, etc. The likely hood of India being further balkanised is far more likely than any territorial changes to China or Pakistans configuration.
There’s clear history that Baluchistan and Xinjiang are forcefully occupied. India was brought together, just like Germany and Italy and USA and many other countries. There’s federalism in India, though there’s enough external forces keeping some silly aspirations alive.
Neither hurt nor idealogue here. Many people in the last 75 years of India have posited the same thing you whip up above, but looks like it will hang in there. BJP was voted in. I mean voted in twice. Indian politics is pretty rough and tumble and to get an absolute majority, they cannot play fascism card and win. That’s where you don’t understand the country or the people. If any place people know how to get along it’s India as its homogenous and at the same time heterogeneous.
The current govt is undoing what the previous leftist quislings did to India letting it rot to a point where it is now. People still have faith in Modi and vice versa. He’s cleaning house and its a very messy one. And current world turmoils don’t help either.
Till then keep writing your predictions.
OH and we are well aware of how your democracy works, I understand 60% of parliamentarians in Indian government have criminal cases pending against them, Their crimes include money laundering, massive corruption, murder and rape……it seems rape is a popular and preferred method of humiliating women in India.
There is ample evidence that a vote in Indian elections can be bought for as little as giving a meal to the poor. Here is an interesting extract from Pakistan: A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven; I quote from introduction section:
Pakistan, Anatol Lieven writes in his new book, is “divided, disorganised, economically backward, corrupt, violent, unjust, often savagely oppressive towards the poor and women, and home to extremely dangerous forms of extremism and terrorism”. It is easy to conclude, as many have, from this roll call of infirmities that
Pakistanis basically Afghanistan or Somalia with nuclear weapons.
Or is this a dangerously false perception, a product of wholly defective assumptions?
Certainly, an unblinkered vision of South Asia would feature a country whose fanatically ideological government in 1998 conducted nuclear tests, threatened its neighbour with all-out war and, four years later, presided over the massacre of 2,000 members of a religious minority. Long embattled against secessionist insurgencies on its western and eastern borders, the “flailing” state of this country now struggles to contain a militant movement in its heartland.
It is also where thousands of women are killed every year for failing to bring sufficient dowry and
nearly 200,000 farmers have committed suicide in the previous decade.
Needless to say, the country described above is not Pakistan but INDIA, which, long feared to be near collapse, has revamped its old western image through what the American writer David Rieff calls the most “successful national re-branding” and “cleverest PR campaign” by a political and business establishment since “Cool Britannia” in the 1990s.
Pakistan, on the other hand, seems to have lost all control over its international narrative.
No caps please (see moderation rule #1), mod
Adding to the amount of brainwashing going on in India’s neighbour to the west as the post above probably indicates, India has been and is pretty tolerant of all creeds. Many here may not know the Zoroastrians kicked out by the muslims of Persia fled to India and were welcomed in India.
If one watches the movie “On Wings of Fire” you will find this famous scene.The king shows a full glass of water to the zoroastrian chief, saying the country is full. The chief takes a handfull of sugar and drops in glass to show they will dissolve with the people and be one.
They have kept their word and the most famous company from India, “Tata” is of zoroasrian (parsi) lineage. Everyone is allowed to prosper. The second richest man, founder of Wipro, Azim Premji is muslim.
India does really cherish its diversity and that’s a millenia old strength. Don’t let some idealogue lead you astray.
interestingly your obsession with your tough resilient neighbour to the west seems too have burst out without logic, so lets clarify; I am a muslim who supports Pakistan but not from where you suspect, most muslim nation barring a few petrol station nation under western tutelage, perhaps keep quiet for self preservation. Others hold Pakistan in very good respect, which partly stems from it standing up to big powers including USA and Soviet Union in Afghan wars for the last 40 years, also for frequenting embarrassing your nation militarily which is almost ten times larger. In the eyes of Islamic world Pakistan is proudly proclaimed as Islamic nuclear power and geo-politics aside ordinary people (Man of the streets as the Arabs say) of Islamic world love Pakistan .
And if memory serves me right it was very recently that Pakistani military shot down two of Indian aircraft and returned the pilots back in a full spectacle for the world to see and to Indias extreme embarresment. I myself witnessed it on screen in the westernmost part of islamic lands. perhaps you need to reassess your fake news channels obsession with Pakistan who are busy brainwashing your billions who live without water, basic higene sanitary facilities and I understand almost 50% of the population living below the poverty line, the world is not blind, mass media is everywhere. As Indians have found out; when a push comes to shove Pakistan is no push over, I highly recommend you read a book by renowned journalist “Pakistan A Hard Country By Anatol Lieven”
Lastly, by electing a very ordinary man of the street ( I under stand your current prime minister had a tiny tea stall at a railway station)
To lead nations one needs Statesmen, men/women above the ordinary, benevolent, gracious, forgiving, uniting their people not divisive rascals. perhaps, the best example of a statesman was given by an Arab Caliph of medieval times;
“I never use my sword if I can negotiate, I never use my whip if my tongue will do, and I never use my hand if my glance can do the job. if even one hair of my body keeps me connected with my people I will not snap it Wars cost too much.”
A far cry for the likes of your Tea seller or Donald the buffoon, who because of lack of education and grace can only whip up frenzied crowds in divisive causes for politics, it is beyond a rational mind to think a nations leader would use division of its own people for personal gain, but so it is.
India has again made a wrong turn in history, It has aligned itself with a dying superpower and a decayed political block whose downward slide is not only accelerating by the day but a full blown crash is now imminent in the historical context.
China is the rising star, full of promise, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey are the new players on the geopolitical block wether you like it or not, In his folly Indian prime minister tried to pick a fight with china and without firing a single bullet the Chinese sent a few dozen of indias soldiers back in coffins, India is at odds with all its neighbours primarily because it is forgetting its history of being a docile nation always ruled by Invaders, but now seems to perceive itself as a military power, which it is not.
Your comments are full of hatred and venom – give yourself a break and clean this mess from within. Otherwise you’re only demonstrating your culture and your country (Pakistan) in poor light.
And don’t worry about India or Hindus – our culture and religion has and will remain for eternity because of its all-embracing, open and tolerant inherent nature.
Another fasichist Hindutva adherent deeply hurt by truth, read my posts, I am a muslim not a Pakistani.
Oh, and by the way: ” your all-embracing, open and tolerant inherent nature” is that why your hindutva mobs are murdering Christians, Muslims, Dalits, and others for eating beef, we do eat absolutely fabulously tasty beef stakes here in the west, rare ones at that, but here your countrymen go around like docile rabbits, none of that foaming at the mout, I would call that cowardly hypocrisy:…..G’day
WC once a sepoy always a sepoy, hey?
Ever heard the saying a picture is worth 1000 words?
Click on the link – and ask yourself 1 question – and 1 question only:
‘For how many countries around the world is India their major trading partner?’
Everyone knows the facts. So what? China did not start there and it’s good to aspire to. There are no grand delusions there.
In 2015 I was informed very confidently by a Modi Bhakt that Modi would without the slightest doubt “free Balochistan” by 2019.
Modi and his regime are idiots – most of them are high school dropouts without any college education. They won the elections by dividing the people of India on religion and caste and yes on Temple/Mosque issue. No foresight – selling all public sector entities like Railways, Airports even Red Fort to big rich supporter of its Hindutva – RSS ideology. India has gone to the dogs — I am not at all surprised that they lost this beautiful opportunity which the earlier Govt had created. Its GDP is down by 27% – Thousands of poor people especially farmers are killing themselves due to monetary problems – the filthy rich Modi’s supporters like Ambanis, Adanis etc – most of them are from Gujarat – a state which Modi belongs to.. are increasing their wealth by Billions. Inida is now among the top covid 19 positive cases — It is unbelievably high but not in a position to do the testing for 100’s of Millions probably affected.
Add to this also the horrid, widespread practice of infanticide against baby girls. This used to plague China too but not anymore. Modi and the BJP are a scourge of total fascist degeneracy. Hell — Nazi Germany at least had something to show for it: zero unemployment in the midst of extreme economic crisis in all of Europe except the USSR, industrial prowess, and a social safety net which was impressive. By contrast, India and Ukraine represent fascism without any ”redeeming” qualities whatsoever; only chaos, fanaticism, greed and total incompetence.
I think it is a mistake to write the Indians off as imcompetent fools even though every man and his dog can see that china short of the nuclear option will be the dominant economic power in future.
The problem for India is that at the moment Indian export to the US is twice as big as their export to China greatly helped by a huge export of services such as IT develpment and back office services.This means that India is quite vulnerable to what today passes for American diplomacy.
In another blog MK Bhadrakumar was once again off target by arguing “India gains nothing out of ‘Asian NATO'” and going back to sitting on two chairs by keeping “non-aligned”. Those days are done. You have put yourself on one chair and see what happens. That’s what the current govt is doing.
Expanding on what you say above, which is pretty much the reality of it, one needs to see where investments in India are coming from. Plants, machinery, funds, jobs etc. Name one Chinese investment. None. They will want to produce in China, dump in India, and on every project want to employ their people. Is anything coming from Russia? A little better, because India buys so much of defense products. And some old world memories. Anything from Iran? Nope, they’ll sell oil and partner with some refinery to guarantee uptake.
The real investments are coming from US, Japan, Korea, UK and western Europe. There’s enough collaboration, technology exchange and Indians have made money for all of them in India and all over the world. As finicky as the relationship may be, it’s better than the above. Way better.
The bottom line is this: someone will overlord you if you’re not #1. One can fold to Chinese way, that is absolute power (not coming from barrel of gun but their dictum) or work with the others that will let you prosper as long as they do too. Is it that hard to see?
“In another blog MK Bhadrakumar was once again off target by arguing “India gains nothing out of ‘Asian NATO’” and going back to sitting on two chairs by keeping “non-aligned”. Those days are done. You have put yourself on one chair and see what happens. That’s what the current govt is doing.”
India is big enough not to be vying for someone else’s chair but to have its own chair. Unfortunately its leaders do not have the vision to see this.
India has chosen to be a vassal of the US, thinking that the US will help it rise to greatness and protect it from its imagined aggression from China . This is a vain hope. At best the US will chew and spit India out when it is no longer useful. At worst, it will also sink with the US Empire.
”One can fold to Chinese way, that is absolute power (not coming from barrel of gun but their dictum) or work with the others that will let you prosper as long as they do too. Is it that hard to see?”
Yes, it’s hard, nay, impossible to see. China shares with India a very similar historic experience. They both came out in the 1940s as newly-liberated territories after horrendous suffering for centuries at the hands of Western imperialism and, in China’s case, Japanese imperialism for another 8 years of outright genocide. China got its act together. India, especially under BJP/Hindutva misrule, gives the lie to the ”benefits” pertaining to Western vassalage as do the BJP’s kith and kin in Ukraine. India remains a 3rd world country at its own discretion.
You conveniently ignore the fact the leftist quislings ruled for 60 out of 75 years. Then its easier to just take pot shots than get into the weeds about it.
Really, I have to conclude that your nick surpasses your wit.
”You conveniently ignore the fact the leftist quislings ruled for 60 out of 75 years.”
Is that so? Well, firstly, China was governed by a far more leftist government than India ever was. Secondly, Narendra Modi is an Asian rendition of a Ukronazi, happily flushing India down the WC, if there ever was one. A comparison of the ravages of Covid-19 in China and India speaks for itself.
And yet right wing Modi predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee called “leftist Quisling” Indira Gandhi Goddess Durga in 1972.
I have had quite a lot to do with individual Indians in a number of fields over a lifetime. I have been a student of geopolitics generally also over that lifetime (I am now 60 years). I have the absolute greatest respect for Indian cultural and especially spiritual achievements. India is the world’s spiritual superpower civilization, having been the source of many globally important religious and spiritual streams, even possibly Christianity if the not-implausible possibility that Jesus travelled to Kashmir and was instructed by Buddhists is true. Not saying it is true, just not implausible on the face of it. This is the very great positive of the Indian national character.
However . . . in my observation, Indians lack an ability to create viable national goals. They are particularly prone to factionalism, even down to the attitude that they constitute factions of one and this justifies many corrupt practices. I think it can be argued that the reason India was ruled by the Moghuls and then the British for so long is more down to Indians inability to effectively operate at a national scale than any extraordinary ability on the part of their conquerors. Indians are especially prone to divide-and-rule tactics.
India seems to produce the greatest saints and the greatest rogues in equal measure. Maybe that is a kind of balance!
Now, in regard to the US hegemon they act like naive children. Even a nation as young as the US seems able to have them dancing to whatever tune they play with threats and candy as appropriate and they are completely out of their depth in charting their own course.
The relative performance of China and India over the post WW2 period is nothing less than a national disgrace for Indians. India would be humiliated in a war with China and quite possibly then foolish enough to use nukes when they start losing. Political and business elites everywhere are (almost) invariably corrupt. But India’s elites also seem to have a pronounced inability to calculate intelligently and rather to act impetuously and immaturely, reflecting a kind of cultural inferiority complex, bizarrely for such and ancient and deep civilizational culture.
You can read all about in and understand in “The Argumentative Indian”. https://www.amazon.com/Argumentative-Indian-Writings-History-Identity/dp/031242602X
India is not a factor in geo-politics, Argumentative Indian or no Argumentative, a poverty struck nation in throes of fascism, murdering its minorities, christians, muslims, for eating beef, and low cast Dalits a product of Indias despicable cast system immersed in ignorance, poverty, hunger, corruption, rape and murder……you are convincing no one, anyone visiting a website like “the Sake” is aware, geo politically savvy and highly aware of current world events. try wasting your breath on your fellow Hindu fascists to stop genocide of minorities. Don’t even dare tangling with china or your nation may well be erased from history and broken into dozen separate nations.
I keep pointing out that India is not, contrary to the beliefs of Modi regime followers, the centre of the universe. It is in geopolitical terms without the slightest importance at all.
I quote” “India is not a factor in geo-politics, Argumentative Indian or no Argumentative, a poverty struck nation in throes of fascism”. Unquote.
I tend to disagree. Indian cuisine and beautiful Indian women (they won many international beauty contests) are without par in the world.
These are at least two pieces of evidence that they may yet turn the tide and reform India into the beautiful country and people that it really is.
And I am not being sarcastic. There are other evidence that God has gifted them with many gifts.
agree. playing geo political chess and forgetting your a piece that gets knocked out win or lose seems a touch naive. middle east is perfect example of plans for competing pipelines and railways. can a nation truly develop when its national plan changes course every leader and decade
”I think it is a mistake to write the Indians off as incompetent fools”
So do I. It was the Indian PM along with his BJP crackpots which the verdict applied to. They have finally given the Swastika the same meaning — fascism — as in the West and its Ukro fiefdom. Narendra Modi and the BJP perform the exact same functions as the Ukronazis: silly apeshit provocations against their far bigger, stronger, and more intelligent neighbouring countries for absolutely nothing but oppression, violence, and societal decomposition in return.
But China do not want to be the ‘dominant’ power. China, from what I could see, wants to develop and live peacefully and contribute to world peace and progress. That’s all.
But so long as India is led by the likes of Modi, it will remain incompetent and will always have potential.
A country whose government is stood on the basis of brute force – killing, suppressing and silencing voice of any descent/diversion ruthlessly, cannot become a super power.
The power may seem to be coming from economic resources and military technology but that’s only the material aspect. The real carrier of that power is the people – if they do not experience freedom, justice and trust of the government, the fall of such power will be quick and inevitable.
”A country whose government is stood on the basis of brute force – killing, suppressing and silencing voice of any descent/diversion ruthlessly, cannot become a super power.”
The US proves you dead wrong. But now that it’s crumbling, China and Russia will usher in an era of general prosperity. No Hindutva, neocons, and Ukronazis will be able to stop that.
Whereas I agree with you on the Human element Part….I totally disagree you assumption that India has any leeway in Economy or Military prowess
After 30 years India is struggling to get a 3rd generation fighter aircraft off the ground, dozens of crashes later India had to go to its masters for help.
As for the economy. whatever little resilience it has shown is due to patronage by the corporate criminals in Wall street. the world largest economic terrorists who will dump your India like a hot brick at the first sign of your no value, the Likes of Monsanto corporates heavies have already destroyed your Agriculture where by some estimates half a million farmers have committed suicide because their millenniums old way of life was taken away just to get a compliant street tea seller in Prime ministers position, all with the aid of wall-street murderers.
Meantime, your rival Pakistan has come up with a brilliant 4th Generation Jet fighter with the help of China, As the world saw what the Pakistanis did with you air force in actual combat. in minutes they shot down to of your ace pilots and embarrassed your nation around the world……Your fake media has buried your head in the sand and that sure gives your enemies a big advantage over scums like BJP.
Nice. India has chosen its alliances: US/UAE/Saudi Arabia/Israel/Australia/Japan;whereas, China has chosen its allies: Russia, Iran, Pakistan. This seems to be set in concrete. The world will be divided between those ravaged by the plague and those not.
For your kind information India has a strategic partnership with Russia which is quite comprehensive in nature –
As far as China is concerned it has dreams of becoming the new world hegemon. The best advice as far as alliance’s and partnerships with China, is to tread very cautiously.
The present as well as earlier Indian government’s had offered China a modicum of partnership in the development of both the nations, however, it seems all China has to offer is a Tributary system, the fount of which ofcourse would be China.
Perforce, India has chosen a different path, and is it surprising ? After all what has China offered but the use of force, military or otherwise, whilst trying to completely subjugate the Indian economy.
The India Russia relationship is pretty shallow despite the high sounding names given to it.
The relationship is mostly commercial and that too at less than 10 billion USD annually.
On the US-India side this is where it is heading.
Anything comparable with Russia?
Very soon India will need to decide firmly and clearly whether it sides with the US or its opponents. No prizes for guessing that it will not be aligned with Russia. So much for its strategic alliance with Russia.
Modi regime media always very carefully avoids any mention of these things:
1. China is all but formally allied to Russia.
2. America is now in all but formal terms at war with Russia.
3. An alliance with America against China will be an alliance against Russia.
4. Pakistan is increasingly allying with Russia as well as China.
5. America, in the act of losing a war in Afghanistan, is not going to cut its own throat for the greater glory of Narendrabhai Damodardasbhai Modi.
People like WC above – when they are not professional trolls – have been so systematically misinformed for so long that they literally do not live in the same information universe as the rest of the world.
Pakistan, Anatol Lieven writes in his new book, is “divided, disorganised, economically backward, corrupt, violent, unjust, often savagely oppressive towards the poor and women, and home to extremely dangerous forms of extremism and terrorism”. It is easy to conclude, as many have, from this roll call of infirmities that Pakistanis basically Afghanistan or Somalia with nuclear weapons.
Or is this a dangerously false perception, a product of wholly defective assumptions?
Certainly, an unblinkered vision of South Asia would feature a country whose fanatically ideological government in 1998 conducted nuclear tests, threatened its neighbour with all-out war and, four years later, presided over the massacre of 2,000 members of a religious minority. Long embattled against secessionist insurgencies on its western and eastern borders, the “flailing” state of this country now struggles to contain a militant movement in its heartland. It is also where thousands of women are killed every year for failing to bring sufficient dowry and nearly 200,000 farmers have committed suicide in the previous decade.
Needless to say, the country described above is not Pakistan but India, which, long feared to be near collapse, has revamped its old western image through what the American writer David Rieff calls the most “successful national re-branding” and “cleverest PR campaign” by a political and business establishment since “Cool Britannia” in the 1990s. Pakistan, on the other hand, seems to have lost all control over its international narrative.
Look, with all due respect, there is zero evidence that China is seeking global hegemony. Apart from India’s accusations that China attacks India, which country has China attacked? Which country has China bombed? Which country has had its regime changed by China?
Yes, the Chinese are fantastic workers, engineers and builders. In sixty years they managed to create the world’s largest economy. No other nation in history has ever lifted a billion people out of poverty within three generations as China has. If China is today the world’s industrial capital and workshop to the world, is it malicious of the Chinese?
A rational India would work to develop prosperity, peace and regional cooperation in Asia. India has instead chosen the path of becoming the evil empire’s handmaiden. India has much talent, much resources, and much potential. What is missing is governance with a positive vision and a spirit of self-analysis and self-criticism on part of its elites.
Having some first-hand familiarity with both India and China, the difference between the China of today and the India of today is the difference between day and night. Nowhere in China do you see the kind of gut-wrenching poverty, filth, and squalor that are, alas, a part and parcel of India’s landscape. This calls for introspection, and then action, on part of Indians, not emotional rejection of reality. India has much to learn from China, and open-mindedness and the ability to learn from others are signs of reason and inner strength, not weakness.
Lot to learn for India. But people have freedom to write, say and act. I’d not trade that for anything China has given its people. In any place for any peoples. People like you (and me) who comment sitting in the west will only realize what freedom is when it’s taken away. Till then pray it does not happen.
If you are an untouchable in India you do NOT have freedom to say and act as you choose, or even to drink from the same well. It is all too easy for educated and wealthy elites to claim that they have “freedoms” but that is of little help to those who live in shanties at the side of the road and are forced to defecate in the gutters. I have experienced this and learned NEVER to take an early morning walk before the street cleaners had been by.
All countries are a victim (or winner) of their culture and history and their religious and ethnic jigsaws.
In the case of India sure colonialism was a major inhibitor, but so too was their history of autocratic greedy kings/shahs.
Perhaps even harder to address is their caste system which basically ensures much more limited social mobility. even deeper is the fact that the concept of reincarnation in the Hindu (and other religions) basically says that you are in the lower castes because you did bad deeds in an earlier life and are being justifiably punished or that you started later and have not yet climbed to higher status. This provides an easy excuse for those in the higher castes to mistreat or ignore the poor, just as some Christians use the old testament stories to entrench racism against blacks (eg South Africa).
Now it is 20 years since I visited India so much probably has changed, but for me the place was dirty, dysfunctional and totally lacking in any sort of community spirit. I felt that pride was lacking in its history and in its relics. old palaces were decaying, filthy poverty was cheek by jowl with national wonders eg the Taj Mahal.
Now it is probable that the Hindu nationalism of Modi has changed this at least in the sense of restoring pride which may be a very positive sign, but I admit I found the black clad Shival worshipers (all male) just a tad scary.
The race riots in India at the moment are a very serious problem and will certainly destabilize the country if left unchecked or if there were to be a war between India and Pakistan.
India – a once great land rich in resources, trade and fairly high levels of living.
But then – Great Britain devoured that nation and literally broke apart the many intricacies of trade,commerce and communications with thousands of small communities.
GB destroyed India and then, after letting it loose, the bitter wrangling began with the political leaders in India. Essentially, split it into a very fractured set of nations. Now look at it:
Look at the poor quality of leadership India is beset by.
A nation once besieged by an Empire, and fractured repeatedly —-loses its Very Soul. How sad.
Thank you, Pepe, for another educational article.
And do I hear a people accustomed to that imperial subjugation? It appears that another of the British empire’s controlled nations has what is known as a collective colonial mentality. It is commonly built into the empire and lingers in India to this day. So both their minds and political economy are totally hooked into the English empire. The English are very good at that. When the English ‘left’ they gave their control structure to the Indian bourgeoisie and hooked them into the wider empire through economic connections. India never shook either off. So India is ruled by what is known as a comprador bourgeoise. They are allowed by the empire to rule over their own people because they also serve the empire.
In fact GB unified ‘India’. After they left it split forthwith. But it is true that “their minds and political economy are totally hooked into the English empire” (it remained a member of the Commonwealth, a thing largely forgotten). And the quintessential British game of cricket (the sport of ‘gentlemen’) became the national sport to the point of idolatry: “If cricket is our religion, then Sachin [Tendulkar] is our God”!
India belongs to ‘Oceania’ (in Orwell’s terms) and is separated from ‘Eurasia’ by the Himalaya-Hindukush mountain range. Geologically, the ‘Indian Plate’ which split from the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a north-eastward drift and began to subduct under the Eurasian Plate, movements that created the Himalayas. South-East Asia belongs to the Sunda Plate, part of the Eurasian Plate.
India is viewed as a springboard and entry point into Eurasia by the Outer Islands.
”Not even a Hindu deity on hangover could possibly imagine a more counter-productive ’strategy’ for Indian interests”
Haha, absolutely brilliant! From now on, I will always have this as my understanding of Narendra Modi: A Hindu deity on hangover. Mind you, it puts the BJP’s achievements into perspective, and how!
I haven’t verified it but I have heard that India’s diplomatic corps is smaller than that of Singapore.
Why is that? Because India does not feel that it needs a large diplomatic corps since it just follows on the coattails of the West.
India will get a shock soon. My guess is that it will happen when an Indian warship accompanying the US flotilla in the South China Seas meets an “accident” and is totally trashed and the US will do nothing in response.
What Hindu deity? Kali (Kālikā), the black goddess of destruction, or the demon (gandharva) Kali, the lord of the Kali Yuga, the era in which we live, the arch-foe of Kalki Avatara?
Economics of a nation are internal. See rebuilding Russia, US and China for examples. Comonial period wrecked Asia. 1990s wrecked Russia. Several decades wrecked much in US for working people.
India has a massive internal market. It is a consumption, internal based economy. We can debate about policies but the leadership of nation is to stand for the people of that narion.
Globalists seem to want conflict between India and China, perhaps localised. Is this in either peoples interesrs?
But some globalists also seem to like the idea that India, or even Russia, capitulate to China and become irs vassals, economically. Is this in either peoples interests?
African countries are learning that China is different from the west but no less exploitive in its own way.
We need a balance of strong countries. It is not mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible that India and China will both grow independently and yet do well for their people.
Global politics and economics is vastly more complicated than we laymen can imagine.
Portuguese translation at
The Modi regime isn’t the first recent Indian government to betray Iran; the preceding Manmohan Singh regime had voted against Iran at the IAEA. The Manmohan Singh regime, in fact, was so determined to act as a rubber stamp for America that Modi almost looked reasonably neutralist in foreign policy during his first term in 2014-19. Unfortunately, Modi seems to have fallen into the ludicrous belief that sucking up to Washington is a viable option for India. This has not brought the slightest benefit, of course, but in today’s India you can’t point that kind of thing out in public and expect to get away with it.
“Unfortunately, Modi seems to have fallen into the ludicrous belief that sucking up to Washington is a viable option for India.”
Modi, and India, have decided to join the US as its vassal.
We are in for interesting times.
Not many readers know the geography of the areas well, what you are referring to in your very well written article on:
” INDIA IMPLODES IN its new SILK ROAD”
had to keep referring to the geography map to know which port and city to get a better idea.
Like the saying goes.
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS – How accurate it says in this case?
For those Hindutva Indian trolls who have been harping on how enlightened, progressive and tolerant India is? this should be an eye opener.
Just in, Todays Newspaper. Bhubanneswar; India 7th September 2020.
4 cops among *gang Rape of Minor in India.
Also Ambulance Driver molests Covid Positive girl.
A minor girl was Gang Raped by police personal at gun point, the matter came to Light after the Girls mother filed a report at Mahila police station on Sunday, foreign media reported.
Yet again in India: a shocking incident, a girl who tested positive for Covid 19was sexually molested by the ambulance driver in pathanamthitta district of Kerala.
Having labelled Narendra Modi and his party ”incompetent fools”, I maybe should point out that they are very similar to their Western overlords: They have got their hearts in the right place — it’s the brains we gotta find!
As an Indian from South India, I plead not guilty for the present fascist dispensation in Delhi .My area did not elect even a single member of BJP to Parliament. Alas, I can only apologise to SSA & others who have to put up with bilge from WS & others . WS etc are oblivious of the fact that theirs is a country that has put a terror-accused in Parliament. Can’t ride a high moral horse !
The buffoon fraternity of Trump/Modi/ Boris/Bolsanoro has never earned an honest penny in their lives. Modi as tea- seller is also fake. He was an RSS pracharak spewing Islamophobia hate . ( Trump of course was a real estate swindler ) .
Modi has put all his eggs in the Trump basket, even campaigning in the US for Trump. In case Biden-;Kamala ticket wins, I hope Modi gets it good. Iran is terribly mishandled & China is not amused by Modi posturing with US in South China Sea. Unless Modi retreats on that, China may not withdraw from recent incursion.
My compliments Vv Anand, Its hard for me to believe you are an Indian, in my recent spree on web-space every Indian I have come across is spewing fascists Hindutva hate philosophy, thinking the rest of us are idiots who don’t know whats going on; they seem totally brainwashed and disillusioned into thinking what ever their world famous shouting match buffoonery media presents. Good on you mate, at least you are well aware of the world and your national affairs scenario. Good on you mate.