The Doklam Standoff: Does Something Else Lie Behind the Row Between the Tiger and the Dragon?

The Doklam standoff has monopolized the news over the last weeks. It is not every day that the world observes two Asian global powers, India and China for instance, wrestling over a territory. So what is really behind this conflict? The Protagonists: Modi, Xi… and Trump. Since Modi took office in 2014, he has developed close relations with both Japan and the US, rejecting OBOR and China (its historical ‘problematic’ neighbor) fiercely. Knowing that the couple Japan-China is ‘infernal’, Modi seized the opportunity and focused on strengthening his ties with Abe. This culminated with the concretization of their vision created in November 2016: The Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC), an initiative to integrate Africa, Oceania, and Asia (South, Southeast, and East) in a tangled web of sea-routes to counter China’s Maritime Silk Road. Modi has also been working with Russia and Iran on the North-South Transport Corridor which was started in 2002, prior to him becoming Prime Minister. The primary objective of the corridor is improving transport connectivity and trade between these countries. In addition, Modi is strengthening India’s Connect Central Asia Policy that covers an array of topics (politics, security, economy, and culture) and is focusing on infrastructure projects that include sea port development at Chabahar (Iran) and, ultimately, Trincomalee (Sri Lanka) and Paira (Bangladesh). Like Xi Jinping, Modi is putting in a lot of effort to place India at the heart of the global geopolitical landscape. He is using a variety of initiatives to do this, though there is … Continue reading The Doklam Standoff: Does Something Else Lie Behind the Row Between the Tiger and the Dragon?