Earlier this week, Beijing launched the ‘China-South Asian Countries Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Development Centre’. China had invited Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for the inauguration. But in a bid to create divisions in the Indian Subcontinent, China categorically avoided inviting India, Bhutan and Maldives.
However, there is more to this step taken by China. Beijing is worried about India’s ‘Development Diplomacy’, which, combined with the other Quad nations, threatens to derail China’s global ‘Debt Trap Diplomacy’.
In terms of numbers, China is way ahead of India when it comes to overseas projects. China has issued loans worth a whopping $1.5 trillion to more than 150 nations. It makes China the largest global creditor. Against this, India has issued lines of credit worth $30.66 billion to 64 nations. Despite this difference in figures, the goodwill and the soft power India’s 540-plus projects worldwide generate far outweighs China.
The truth gets revealed with the fact that there has hardly been a cry or local protest against India-run projects in any country. Contrary to it, governments across the world are worried about Chinese loans using which the Chinese Communist Party usurps national assets of countries. People are unhappy and have held protests against Chinese projects. Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka and CPEC in Pakistan are just a couple of well-known examples out of hundreds of others.
Besides, the China-created pandemic has pushed almost all nations into economic crisis. It is further leading to discontent flaring protests, riots, etc. As part of the ‘problem-solution-problem’ strategy, China is now on the prowl for financing opportunities in such nations to set their debt trap and gulp sovereign assets. And this is where India and other Quad nations could play a crucial role.
India’s soft power and skills combined with the American and Japanese monetary might and technical expertise can defeat China’s coercive, evil designs and its plans to establish a Chinese World Order.