THE INTERNAL CONTRADICTIONS OF THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANISATION AND THE BRICS: THE MALDIVES, STAKE BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINA

 

LUC MICHEL (ЛЮК МИШЕЛЬ) & EODE/

Luc MICHEL pour EODE/

Quotidien géopolitique – Geopolitical Daily/

2018 02 15/

LM.GEOPOL - Maldives (2018 02 15) ENGL 2

“With a political crisis unfolding in Maldives, the scenic archipelago in the Indian Ocean has emerged as a fresh geopolitical battleground for arch rivals India and China. The two Asian giants have faced each other off across the region in recent months, with the most recent confrontation in Bhutan a few months ago when the two accused each other of border violations in a road construction project.  Apart from growing blue-water navies on both sides, China has been making significant investments in all countries surrounding India – not only Maldives but Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and has extended its influence in Nepal”

– Asia Sentinel (February 9, 2018).

LM.GEOPOL - Maldives (2018 02 15) ENGL 3

“India must stop intervening in Male.”Political struggles are supposed to be internal affairs, and New Delhi has no justification to intervene in Male’s affairs. The Maldives must be under huge pressure from India”

– The Global Times (Chinese government mouthpiece, February 5).

# CHINA AND INDIA RIVALRY IN THE MALDIVES AND INDIAN OCEAN

We are going today far from the battlefields of the “new Cold War 2.0”, to the unrecognized theater of an Asian confrontation, that of Beijing and New Delhi for the control of the Maldive Islands. We are at the heart of one of the deepest internal contradictions of both the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (the Eurasian geopolitical bloc around Moscow and Beijing, which defies the US superpower) and the BRICS.

India is the weak link in these two sets (1). At the same time opposed to Beijing for old feuds of borders on the Himalayas, but also competing regional ambitions (Indian Ocean, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan), and in Pakistan (which moves away from Washington and approaches the

OCS) (2) (for others (Kashmir issue and strategic parity with Islamabad). Washington and his Israeli pilot fish in India (3) obviously use these geopolitical gaps.

The Think-Tank US Stratfor has just dedicated an interesting analysis on one of the unknown points of the Sino-Indian rivalry: the Maldive Islands, in the strategic position in the Indian Ocean …

What does Stratfor say:

« While India wants to see a sympathetic politician, such as Nasheed, in power who can advance its interests, it reportedly has rebuffed his request for military intervention or even a special envoy for Male.

This refusal is to be expected. Sending troops to the Maldives would undoubtedly reinforce New Delhi’s image as a domineering hegemon unafraid to use force against its smaller neighbors. Such a reaction could tilt the regional political scales in China’s favor, which already has benefited from anti-Indian sentiment at play during December elections in Nepal, where the pro-Chinese Left Alliance, led by former Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, swept to power (…) In turn, New Delhi wants a sympathetic government in Male to re-evaluate a raft of ongoing Chinese infrastructure projects that India fears may presage Beijing’s eventual military presence in the Maldives. New Delhi is already alarmed by China’s possible use of Pakistan’s Gwadar port as a naval base, in addition to its newly launched base in Djibouti on the other side of the Indian Ocean. It is also keeping an eye on Sri Lanka’s Chinese-funded Hambantota port (Sri Lanka). India wants to avoid the same elsewhere along its periphery.

Underpinning Chinese and Indian interest in the Maldives is its strategically significant location astride key shipping and energy routes, including those crossing from the Gulf of Aden to the Strait of Malacca. From Beijing’s point of view, the Maldives could offer a critical naval port and air base to help safeguard these important sea lines of communication. India, which seeks to remain the dominant naval power in the Indian Ocean, wants to avoid any Chinese naval presence in the region — thus its interest in supporting a pro-Indian politician like Nasheed.”

* Résumé français :

Les contradictions internes de l’OCS et des Brics: Les Maldives, enjeu entre l’Inde et la Chine … Nous allons ce jour loin des champs de bataille de la « nouvelle Guerre froide 2.0 », vers le théâtre méconnu d’une confrontation asiatique, celle de Pékin et de New Dehli pour le contrôle des Iles Maldives. Nous sommes là au cœur d’une des plus profonde contradictions internes à la fois de l’Organisation de Coopération de Shanghai (ce Bloc géopolitique eurasiatique, autour de Moscou et de Pékin, qui défie la superpuissance américaine) et des BRICS.

L’Inde est le maillon faible de ces deux ensembles (1). A la fois opposé à Pékin pour de vieilles querelles de frontières sur l’Himalaya, mais aussi des ambitions régionales concurrentes (Océan indien, Népal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan), et au Pakistan (qui s’éloigne de Washington et se rapproche de l’OCS) (2) pour d’autres (question du Cachemire et parité stratégique avec Islamabad). Washington et son poisson-pilote israélien en Inde (3) utilisent évidemment ces brèches géopolitiques.

Le Think-Tank US Stratfor vient de consacrer une intéressante analyse sur un des points méconnus de la rivalité sino-indienne : les Iles Maldives, à la position stratégique dans l’Océan indien … Que dit Stratfor :

«Alors que l’Inde veut voir un politicien maldive sympathisant, tel que Nasheed, au pouvoir, qui peut faire avancer ses intérêts, il aurait rejeté sa demande d’intervention militaire ou même d’un envoyé spécial pour Malé. Ce refus est à prévoir. Envoyer des troupes aux Maldives renforcerait sans aucun doute l’image de New Delhi en tant qu’hégémoniste dominateur qui ne craint pas d’utiliser la force contre ses plus petits voisins. Une telle réaction pourrait faire pencher la balance politique régionale en faveur de la Chine, qui a déjà bénéficié du sentiment anti-indien lors des élections de décembre au Népal, où l’Alliance gauchiste pro-chinoise, dirigée par l’ancien Premier ministre Khadga Prasad Oli, a pris le pouvoir (…) À son tour, New Delhi veut qu’un gouvernement sympathisant à Malé réévalue une série de projets d’infrastructure chinois en cours qui, selon l’Inde, pourraient présager la présence militaire éventuelle de Pékin aux Maldives. New Delhi s’inquiète déjà de l’utilisation possible par la Chine du port de Gwadar au Pakistan comme base navale, en plus de sa base nouvellement lancée à Djibouti de l’autre côté de l’océan Indien. Il surveille également le port de Hambantota (Sri Lanka), financé par la Chine. L’Inde veut éviter la même chose ailleurs le long de sa périphérie. L’intérêt des Chinois et des Indiens pour les Maldives réside dans leur emplacement stratégiquement important à cheval sur les principales routes maritimes et énergétiques, y compris celles qui traversent le golfe d’Aden et le détroit de Malacca. Du point de vue de Pékin, les Maldives pourraient offrir un port naval stratégique et une base aérienne pour aider à sauvegarder ces importantes lignes maritimes de communication. L’Inde, qui cherche à rester la puissance navale dominante dans l’océan Indien, veut éviter toute présence navale chinoise dans la région – et donc son intérêt à soutenir un politicien pro-indien comme Nasheed. »

# DOCUMENT:

“INDIA LOOKS AT THE MALDIVES AND SEES CHINA”

(STRATFOR, FEBRUARY 8, 2018)

The Maldives is an Indian Ocean archipelago with a population of about 400,000.

Out of Maldives’ population of 400,000, more than 22,000 are Indians.

* Excerpt 1/ Presidential election with geopolitical interest in the Maldives:

“India wants to see a sympathetic politician in power in the Maldives who can advance its interests, someone like exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed.

India’s goal in the Maldives is to pressure President Yameen Abdul Gayoom to uphold a Supreme Court ruling that would enable Nasheed to return to the capital and potentially run again for president. In turn, New Delhi wants a sympathetic government in the Maldives to re-evaluate ongoing Chinese infrastructure projects that India fears may presage Beijing’s eventual military presence in the island nation.

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.

Significantly, one of the opposition politicians is former President Mohamed Nasheed. Forced to resign in February 2012, the exiled Nasheed has hounded the government from abroad for suppressing democratic norms and for increasing the country’s reliance on Chinese debt to dangerous levels. In response to Yameen’s state of emergency, Nasheed tweeted a request for India to send troops to the Maldives to restore political stability. (In 1988, India sent 1,600 troops to Male, the Maldivian capital, to undercut an attempted coup involving Tamil rebels from Sri Lanka.) (…) In any case, India’s goal in the Maldives will remain the same: to pressure Yameen to uphold the Supreme Court’s ruling, which would enable Nasheed to return to Male, face another trial and potentially run again for president. (To be sure, the court’s Feb. 6 reversal of its Feb. 1 decision to free the jailed opposition leaders complicates India’s aims.)”

* Excerpt 2/ Military option off the table but a mix of Indian diplomatic overtures and economic appeasements vs Chineese investments:

“With the military option off the table, India can resort to a mix of diplomatic overtures and economic appeasements to bend Maldivian politics in its favor. But fiscal constraints underscore the limits of India’s economic heft, while also highlighting its competing priorities as it seeks to stave off challenges to its traditional status as the dominant military and economic power in South Asia. The Maldives accounts for $19 million — or 2 percent — of India’s $865 million foreign aid allocation in 2018, according to the recently unveiled federal budget. This is the lowest amount India has set aside for any country in South Asia. Bhutan, by comparison, another tiny and sparsely populated country on India’s periphery — and another site of Sino-Indian competition — was allocated 48 percent.

This is problematic because money is what the Maldives needs to invest in infrastructure as it diversifies its $3.6 billion economy, promotes connectivity between its islands and broadens the tourism industry at the heart of its economic growth. Lacking adequate domestic funding, the Maldives is looking outward to make ends meet, and this brings in China. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Maldives in September 2014, leading to Yameen’s participation in China’s Maritime Silk Road, an extension of its vast Belt and Road Initiative. Ever since, China has increased its economic involvement in the Maldives, granting a

$373 million loan from its Exim Bank to upgrade the airport, constructing the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge and building a 7,000-home housing project.

Yameen signed a free trade agreement with China in December to grow the country’s fisheries exports, which will be destined for Asia’s largest economy. The agreement was steamrolled through the Maldivian parliament, inviting sharp criticism from members of the opposition.

Nasheed says the Maldives is falling into a Chinese debt trap that will threaten the country’s sovereignty — echoing similar complaints heard from the opposition in Sri Lanka, where the government awarded a 99-year lease to China on the Hambantota port.

The funding requirements of Maldivian infrastructure suggest the country will have a difficult time diversifying away from Chinese funds. More broadly, India’s fiscal constraints suggest New Delhi will continue to pursue a diplomatic pathway aimed at gathering international support to pressure Yameen’s government to uphold the Supreme Court’s ruling. But in the broader picture, India will keep running into the new reality that it is no longer the only dominant power active in South Asia.”

NOTES :

(1) See (in French) on LUC MICHEL’S GEOPOLITICAL DAILY/ L’INDE ENTRE GEOECONOMIE – L’INTEGRATION EURASIATIQUE ET LES ‘NOUVELLES ROUTES DE LA SOIE’ – ET VIEILLE GEOPOLITIQUE (CONTENTIEUX AVEC LA CHINE ET ALLIANCE AMERICAINE)

on http://www.lucmichel.net/2017/11/06/luc-michels-geopolitical-daily-linde-entre-geoeconomie-lintegration-eurasiatique-et-les-nouvelles-routes-de-la-soie-et-vieille-geopo/

(2) See (in French) on LUC MICHEL’S GEOPOLITICAL DAILY/ L’APPEL DE L’EURASIE EN MARCHE : L’ADMINISTRATION TRUMP EST-ELLE EN TRAIN DE PERDRE LE PAKISTAN AU PROFIT DE PEKIN (ET DE MOSCOU) ?

on http://www.lucmichel.net/2018/01/08/luc-michels-geopolitical-daily-lappel-de-leurasie-en-marche-ladministration-trump-est-elle-en-train-de-perdre-le-pakistan-au-profit-de-pekin-et-de-moscou/

And :

See (in French) on LUC MICHEL’S GEOPOLITICAL DAILY/ GEOECONOMIE & EURASIE : LE CORRIDOR NORD-SUD BOULEVERSE LES ALLIANCES GEOPOLITIQUES ET LE ‘GRAND JEU’ DU PROCHE-ORIENT …

on http://www.lucmichel.net/2017/09/08/luc-michels-geopolitical-daily-geoeconomie-eurasie-le-corridor-nord-sud-bouleverse-les-alliances-geopolitiques-et-le-grand-jeu-du-proche-orient/

(3) See (in French) on EODE. ORG/ GEOPOLITIQUE/ UNE REALITE MECONNUE : L’AXE STRATEGIQUE ET MILITAIRE INDE-ISRAEL

on http://www.eode.org/eode-geopolitique-une-realite-meconnue-laxe-strategique-et-militaire-inde-israel/

(Sources: Starfor – Asia Sentinel – EODE Think-Tank)

Photo:

President Abdulla Yameen of Maldives and Xi Jingping.

Xi Jingping and Indian president Modi.

LUC MICHEL (ЛЮК МИШЕЛЬ) & EODE

* With the Geopolitician of the Eurasia-Africa Axis:

Geopolitics – Geoeconomics – Geoidology – Neoeurasism – Neopanafricanism (Seen from Moscow and Malabo):

SPECIAL PAGE Luc MICHEL’s Geopolitical Daily https://www.facebook.com/LucMICHELgeopoliticalDaily/

________________

 

* Luc MICHEL (Люк МИШЕЛЬ) :

WEBSITE http://www.lucmichel.net/

PAGE OFFICIELLE III – GEOPOLITIQUE

https://www.facebook.com/Pcn.luc.Michel.3.Geopolitique/

TWITTER https://twitter.com/LucMichelPCN

* EODE :

EODE-TV https://vimeo.com/eodetv

WEBSITE http://www.eode.org/

THE INTERNAL CONTRADICTIONS OF THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANISATION AND THE BRICS: THE MALDIVES, STAKE BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINAultima modifica: 2018-02-17T08:54:11+01:00da davi-luciano
Reposta per primo quest’articolo

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato ma sarà visibile all'autore del blog.
I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *