China's challenge in Iran

   By Dr Ved Pratap Vaidik ,  05-Apr-2021
China's challenge in Iran

China will spend 400 billion dollars in Iran. For what? Strategic cooperation… This includes economic, military and political collaborations

China has made such a big deal with Iran, which India cannot even imagine. China will spend 400 billion dollars in Iran. For what? Strategic cooperation… This includes economic, military and political collaborations.

India is trying to build a port of Chahbahar and lay a railway line from it to Zahidan. India plans to spend a mere 2 billion dollars on this. India has prepared the Zaranj-Dilaram road in Afghanistan but still does not have land route to reach the five countries of Central Asia. India has to travel around the Persian Gulf to deliver its goods to Afghanistan, because Pakistan does not give it a way out of its land.

China has started establishing its roots in the whole of West Asia through this twenty-five-year plan. After Iran, the Chinese foreign minister is now traveling to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Oman and Bahrain. The visit is taking place at a time when the US Biden-administration is hinting at reversing Trump's policy towards Iran. Trump had cancelled the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018 and imposed a number of restrictions on it. Now this strategic agreement with China will definitely put pressure on America.

China, Russia and European nations have appealed to the United States to revive this multinational agreement done during the Obama era.

The talk of the current agreement arose during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tehran in 2016. Until then, China was the largest buyer of Iranian oil.

Now China will buy so much oil from it that the US sanctions will be almost meaningless, but India will be the country which will have to face the most consequences of this Sino-Iran agreement. Maybe now it will be difficult for them to get the land route to Central Asia. Apart from this, China would like that Pakistan and Iran's role in solving the Afghan problem should be increased and India's role becomes secondary.

The increasing proximity of India and America has become hard to digest for China. If China has a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council, then China, along with Central Asia and Arab nations, can become a big challenge for America. This is the right time for Indian foreign policy makers to think about India's far-reaching national interests.






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