هند و چین پس از تحول اساسی در سیاست خارجی خود، در راستای بهدستآوردن پایههای جدیدِ قدرت گام برداشته و خیزش دو قدرت زمینههای رقابت آنها را در محیطهای پیرامونشان بهویژه جنوب آسیا فراهم کرده است. اگرچه اکنون ماهیت این رقابتها در حوزۀ رقابتهای ژئواکونومی متمرکز است، اما تشدید این روندها میتواند رقابتهای ژئوپلتیک میان این بازیگران را نیز افزایش داده و آنها را وادار به اتخاذ استراتژیهای جدید در تعمیق پیوندهای استراتژیک با بازیگران منطقهای کند. در این راستا، این پژوهش بهدنبال پاسخگویی به این پرسش محوری است که ماهیت رقابت هند و چین در حوزۀ جنوب آسیا بر چه مبنایی است؟ نگارندگان بر این باورند که بهدلیل رشد و توسعۀ چین، هند احساس تهدید کرده و در جستوجوی تقویت پیوندهایش با دیگر رقبای چین و شرکای خود است. هند که در همسایگی این کشور قرار داشته و به قدرت اقتصادی و تواناییهای نظامی آن واقف است، گسترش نفوذ این کشور را تهدیدی علیه خود تلقی کرده و در واکنش به این کشور به برقراری ارتباط با کشورهایی روی آورده است. روش تحقیق در این پژوهش توصیفی-تحلیلی و گردآوری دادهها براساس منابع کتابخانهای و اینترنتی است.
عنوان مقاله [English]
The Nature of India and China’s Rivalries in South Asia
The rivalry between India and China in South Asia is one of the indisputable facts of the current international system. The two countries have expanded relations with other countries to neutralize the actions of the other side. China, which is increasingly influential in various regions, provoked the reaction of India, and this sense of threat from China toward India increased when Beijing began to make massive investments in Pakistan. In India's view, cooperation between the two rivals could hamper Delhi's growth and development, and their aggressive intentions could escalate tensions, leading to an offensive opposition toward New Delhi. Thus, the question arising here is that: what is the nature of the rivalry between India and China in South Asia? It can be said that India's reactions to China's growing influence stem from its sense of threat from China, and India seeks to balance China's power by reforming its foreign policy and diversifying its relations with South Asian countries, the major powers and Iran. India also obtained exemptions from sanctions on Iran following US sanctions against Iran, indicating India's efforts to establish extensive relationships with various countries to repel Chinese power and reduce its threat. As South Asia is one of the most critical regions, the growing influence of India and China in this region can have a significant impact on these countries, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan. This can have a devastating effect on these countries if the competition is aggressive; however, if the rivalry is constructive between India and China, it can lead to the growth of countries in this area. As a result, it is necessary to analyze the nature of India-China competition, and the purpose of this study is to analyze the nature of these competitions and to investigate why India and China compete in South Asia.
The research method in this research is descriptive-analytical, and data collection is in the form of library and Internet resources. Moreover, the framework adopted is the balance of threat theory, and the reason why the authors have chosen that is the fact that India feels threatened by China and reacts to it accordingly, which shows the nature of the rivalry between the two countries.
The authors of the present study use the theory of balance of threat and its indicators such as power or capabilities (including population, economic power, size of the country and geopolitical factors of power); geographical proximity; aggressive power and intentions, and believe that China's geographical proximity to India, its revisionist approach and efforts to change the balance of power by challenging the power of large or growing countries such as India, or China's growing economic and military power all have led to a sense of threat from India by China, and India in return seeks to diversify its relations with neighboring and large countries in an effort to contain this threat. One of these activities is China's influence in Afghanistan. China has different goals in Afghanistan. Economic factors are one of the reasons why China is playing a greater role in this country, which means that Afghanistan, with its rich mineral resources, has a high potential to help the economic growth and development of China's power. Political factors and China's impact to play in the peace and security process in Afghanistan today are other significant reasons. The withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan and its effect on the goals and benefits of Afghanistan's new foreign policy, which seeks to attract new partners, has also played a key role in China's foreign policy toward Afghanistan. China's efforts to manage and prevent the spread of terrorist insecurities from Afghanistan into China, and also Pakistan's efforts to involve China in the Afghan peace process (Shafiee, 2015) are among the factors influencing China's growing influence in Afghanistan.
China's influence in Pakistan is another factor leading India to feel threatened. The port of Gwadar in Pakistan is one of the main pillars of Sino-Pakistani economic cooperation. This port is essential for the Chinese as a highway connecting to the Persian Gulf (Ketabi, Dehghan, Dehghan Nasiri, 2016: 23). This port provides access to the deep waters of the landlocked countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan and the transfer of goods from these countries to world markets and can also be an option to put pressure on India from China and Pakistan. In this way, the economic, military and security power of China and Pakistan will be expanded, and it will equip the two countries in a possible war with India. The Chinese have extensive cooperation with Pakistan in the military aircraft and tank sector. It is also said that Pakistan's nuclear technology has been largely developed with the help of China and has acquired nuclear weapons (Mollazehi, 2014). On the other hand, China and Pakistan have reached an agreement to establish a Jiwani military base. The base, to be built near the port of Gwadar, will further strengthen the Pakistani alliance, along with effectively increasing China's naval capacity at the confluence of the Oman Sea and the Indian Ocean in the face of US naval supremacy and India's growing naval fleet. China leads to a key component in the competition for power in the South Asian region (Bahrami Moghaddam, 2017). Finally, it can be said that China has sought to expand its relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to achieve its goals, and its increasing influence in these countries has led to India feeling threatened by China. India is one of the most affected countries by China's rising power in the region due to its rivalry with Beijing. In this regard, India has tried to expand its relations with various countries in line with the policies of Look East, Look West, Look North and relations with the United States. Israel is another option for India, where relations between the two countries have always been expanding. It remains one of India's main sources of arms, and Russia is India's third-largest arms exporter after the United States. Military and trade cooperation is also associated with the expansion of political relations (Taghizadeh Ansari, 2017: 246-242). Cooperation with Iran has been another possibility for India to balance the power of China and achieve its interests. During the Narasimha Rao period, Rao's "Delhi Declaration" and the Memorandum of Understanding "Strategic Partnership Roadmap" provided the basic political and legal framework for long-term and lasting cooperation between the two sides. Before the culmination of nuclear sanctions against Iran, Iran-India relations were positive and constructive, some of which referred to it as the "Iran-India alliance" (Soltaninejad, 2016: 125). Nonetheless, it can be said that the relations between Delhi and Iran have been overshadowed by the United States. Also, after the imposition of sanctions, the Indian company Reliance Industries stopped importing from Iran and replaced imports from other countries with Iran (Mukherjee, 2017). However, the two countries are cooperating in other areas. For India, for example, participation in industrial and communications projects in Chabahar port is a strategic advantage. Although in recent weeks there have been news about a 25-year agreement between Iran and China and the withdrawal of India from the Chabahar project by Iran, India still seeks to keep the project alive, and accordingly, officials from the two countries met recently. In fact, India is concerned about the growing proximity of its rivals - China and Pakistan - to Iran and is working to ensure that it does not lose cooperation with Iran over the port.
China and India have struggled to establish effective, non-tension-based relations due to domestic needs and self-interest. As a growing country, China, in pursuit of its interests and goals, has begun to establish extensive communication and investment in various countries. One of these countries is Afghanistan, which has cooperated in three areas: economic, security-military and political. Among China's actions in this country is China's assistance in the process of rebuilding Afghanistan after a series of wars. China, on the other hand, has always been concerned about the proximity of its Western Uighur groups to Afghan terrorists and their growing separatist tendencies. From China's point of view, influence in Afghanistan and relations could restore some stability to the region. China's efforts in the Afghan peace process and the establishment of peace between the government and the Taliban could also increase the country's prestige and political influence. China, on the other hand, has long had extensive ties with Pakistan. The economic corridor that provides the link between the land and naval-based BRI and leads to the economic growth of the two countries is an example of economic cooperation between the two countries. Economic development also leads to the security of communication routes and the prevention of terrorist infiltration. The Gwadar port project is another area of cooperation between the two countries and Chinese influence in Pakistan. During this port, China can save time to transport goods and thus put pressure on India due to the ports' role in increasing the economic and military power of the two countries. In addition to Afghanistan, China is also working with Pakistan to maintain stability in the Xinjiang region. Also, militarily, they have reached agreements on the establishment of the Jiwani base, which could be a balancing factor for the threat of India and the United States. Moreover, after the time that the US stopped supporting Pakistan, it has become engaged in China to meet its arms and economic needs.
India has felt threatened by China's extensive ties with Pakistan (its rival) and Afghanistan and has sought to communicate more effectively with countries such as Iran, the United States, Afghanistan and other South Asian countries. In line with its Look East policy, India has established relations with the ASEAN and Southeast Asian states, as well as with Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. It has also worked with the Middle East and Northeast Africa, such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Iran, to pursue a policy of looking to the West. It has also cooperated with Afghanistan and Central Asian governments in the policy of looking to the north. In Afghanistan, India supports the central government and sees the Taliban as a threat to the entire region. On the other hand, India can access Central Asia through this country, and this is vital for India to counter Chinese influence and economic growth. In addition, India established effective relations with the United States after 9/11. In other words, the common threat of China is an influential factor in the proximity of the two countries, and Washington considers India a balancing power against China, and India, through bandwagoning this country, is trying to achieve its goals and balance the power of China. Iran is another opportunity in India's cooperation with other countries. The Chabahar project is a key factor in India's economic growth and balance against China's Gwadar project in Pakistan. Although India has reduced its energy imports from Iran after the US imposed sanctions on Iran, the Chabahar project did not include sanctions and could expand relations between the two countries. As a result, it can be said that the feeling of threat from China has led to India's reaction to communicate effectively with different actors and balance its power.