Wary of China, Modi Courts India's Neighbors
Sep 4, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
(SANJEEV VERMA/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
- China's Belt and Road Initiative will compel India to deepen its engagement with its neighbors under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Neighborhood First" policy, as peripheral nations in South Asia seek to maximize their benefits from the competition between Beijing and New Delhi.
- Because India wishes to maintain its regional influence to guarantee national security, it will prioritize investment and diplomatic overtures to countries like the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
- But as India seeks to cultivate its influence on the periphery, it will find it difficult to compete with China and its Belt and Road Initiative given Beijing's superior access to capital through state-owned enterprises.