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AssessmentsNov 9, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sept. 4, 2016, in Hangzhou, China.
India Guards Against China's Encroaching Shadow
India is the dominant country in South Asia, accounting for the majority of the region's landmass (68 percent), population (75 percent) and economic output (79 percent). These disparities have informed India's status as South Asia's reigning hegemon in the decades since it gained independence from the British Empire in 1947. Today, however, India's dominance is being challenged by China. Beijing's economic expansion into South Asia under its vast Belt and Road Initiative is meeting the infrastructure demands of India's neighboring countries and providing them with access to deep pools of capital in a way that New Delhi cannot match. For emerging markets such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Chinese-funded projects are too enticing to pass up, even if they come with steep price tags that add to the debt burdens of these developing countries. Still, the infrastructure race isn't India's only challenge: China is boosting its military responsiveness
AssessmentsApr 24, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A Buddhist temple sits near a hydroelectric grid main in southeastern Bhutan in 2013.
Wary of China, India Shares Its Largesse With Neighbors
Big changes in the neighborhood are giving the government in New Delhi more than a few sleepless nights. Buoyed by an $11 trillion economy and plans to connect Eurasia with its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China is showing up in areas that India has traditionally viewed as its backyard. Around South Asia and the Indian Ocean, New Delhi has long understood the imperative of preventing another neighbor from allying with a rival military power (as Pakistan has done with China), as well as the need to earn the support of regional governments to help resolve bilateral irritants and expand trade to bolster the country's $2 trillion economy.
AssessmentsFeb 8, 2018 | 23:03 GMT
The Maldives is an Indian Ocean archipelago with a population of about 400,000.
India Looks at the Maldives and Sees China
A rapidly unfolding political crisis in the Maldives has created challenges and opportunities for India as the world's largest democracy seeks to limit Chinese influence in the tiny island nation of 400,000 people. On Feb. 5, Maldivian President Yameen Abdul Gayoom imposed a 15-day state of emergency. He ordered the arrests of two Supreme Court judges -- including the chief justice -- as well as Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, an opposition leader and former president who ruled the Maldives for 30 years with India's backing. Yameen's sweeping directive, which he says was aimed at thwarting a judicial coup, followed a Feb. 1 high court ruling that called on Yameen to reinstate 12 members of parliament and that overturned charges against nine jailed opposition figures.
AssessmentsFeb 15, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
Why Nepal Cannot Afford to Alienate India
For four months, the India-Nepal border was under a blockade that reduced the import of key goods to landlocked Nepal to a trickle. On Feb. 5, that blockade ended but the conditions that produced it remain. The restriction barring trade into Nepal was the work of the country's three-party United Democratic Madhesi Front, which is against the newly adopted Nepalese constitution. Starting in late September, the border shutdown limited the transport of fuel, medicine and other essential goods.
AssessmentsOct 6, 2015 | 09:15 GMT
India Tries to Shape Nepal's New Constitution
Last month, the Nepalese parliament adopted a new constitution after nearly a decade of discord that widened the political rifts that divide the country. But with the adoption of the constitution, protests have erupted among Nepal's southern Madhesi community, presenting India with an opportunity to intervene in Nepal's constitutional process. The move is the latest in a series of more assertive policy moves across South Asia and is a test of New Delhi's ability to shape events in its immediate periphery.
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