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Crossing the Himalayas Buddhist Ties, Regional Integration and Great-Power Rivalry

时间:2022-03-28 作者:admin


Nian Peng&Ghulam Ali&Yi Zhang (eds.), Crossing the Himalayas: Buddhist Ties, Regional Integration and Great-Power Rivalry (Singapore: Springer Nature, 2021).

About this book
 
This book aims to analyze the two contrasting trends of integration and rivalry among great powers and regional states of the Himalayas. It examines the interactions between the great powers and the small states in the Himalayan region, analyzes the multiple effects of the great power rivalry on regional cooperation, and predicts the possible directions of the future of geo-politics and geo-economy in the Himalayan region by incorporating the most recent developments.
 
The main content of the book is divided into eleven parts. In the first part, Nian Peng briefly introduced the background of the increasing regional integration and intense power competition in the Himalayan region, and proposed the research questions, and the main content of this book. He also examines the China factor in the fast-growing Indo-Myanmar relations, and argues that China has played a decreasing negative role in Indo-Myanmar relations. Then, the new development of Indo-Myanmar relations in the areas of political engagement, physical connectivity, and naval cooperation and its multiple effects on China-Myanmar relations are care fully examined. Finally, he concludes that the budding Indo-Myanmar relations have limited influence on China-Myanmar relations, though China has expressed rising concerns over the maritime cooperation between India and Myanmar in the past decade in Chap. 11.
 
Yi Zhang examines the Buddhist ties between the Himalayan states in the past two thousand years and its dual influence in the Himalayan region in Chap. 2. She points out there is rising competitive Buddhist diplomacy of China and India in the Himalayan region as both sides try to enhance soft power by making good use of their Buddhism legacy. In order to mitigate the power competition between China and India and promote the Buddhist exchanges in the Himalayan region, she suggests the two countries to work together to promote Buddhism tourism based on the historical Buddhist links between the two countries.
 
Siwei Liu investigates the security dilemma in the areas of traditional/non-traditional security between China and India and the countermeasures in Chap. 3. She reminds China and India to focus not only on traditional security dilemmas such as the border dispute but on the survival dilemma in non-traditional security issues such as the water resource dispute and public health, and suggests both sides to effectively manage the border dispute and establish a regional mechanism on promoting multilateral cooperation on non-traditional security issues.
 
Rahul Roy-Chaudhury and Viraj Solanki examine China’s economic, political, diplomatic, and defence relations with South Asian states, especially the ‘vaccine Diplomacy’after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in South Asia. They further discuss the impacts of China’s expanding presence and influence in South Asia on India’s policies towards its neighbors, as well as India’s countermeasures in Chap. 4. They predicate that the ‘competitive’ elements of India’s relationship with China in South Asia are likely to intensify, and suggests India to be aware of the rising concerns about its security-led initiative in the region from China and the small South Asian countries.
 
Faisal Ahmed focuses on China’s growing engagement in South Asia and India’s foreign policy imperatives in the neighborhood in Chap. 5. He explores the key issues in Sino-Indian competition in the Himalayan region, mainly including China’s BRI and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy, Mausam project, Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) SAGAR, and South Asian Association for Regional Coopera[1]tion (SAARC). Although he concludes that China’s engagements with South Asia pose a threat to India’s security situation vis-à-vis both the land as well as maritime borders, India, China, and South Asia need to come together to leverage each other’s geopolitical gravity and create a win-win situation in the region.
 
Hongmei Li introduces the U.S. and Japan’s growing engagement with South Asian states, India in particular, and analyzes the major driving forces of the fast-growing US-India and Japan-India relations from Chinese perspectives in Chap. 6.She claims that the US, Japan, and India share similar democratic values and comment interests in balancing China’s rising influence in South Asia. So, South Asia is increasingly integrated into China’s BRI and U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, resulting in fierce great power rivalry in the region. She also reminds that a chaotic Afghanistan after the full withdrew of the American troops would bring serious security challenges in South Asia.
 
Ghulam Ali explores the connections between CPEC and regional connectivity,analyzes how CPEC facilitates the internal and external connectivity of Pakistan in Chap. 7.By discussing the potential connectivity with Afghanistan, Iran, and India through CPEC, he deems that Afghanistan and Iran will get access to China and the Indian Ocean and Pakistan will get access to Central Asian Republics through CPEC, while India remained hostage to CPEC. He concludes that CPEC has created the prospects of regional connectivity for mutual benefits, and its success depends upon policy coordination among regional states.
 
Chulanee Attanayake analyzes the Sino-Indian competition and its impacts on Sri Lanka, as well as Sri Lanka’s response to the power rivalry between China and India in Chap. 8. She deems that Sri Lanka gain economic benefits from Sino-Indian competition on one hand, and encounters geopolitical and security challenges on the other side. She concludes that Sri Lanka has successfully balanced its ties between China and India, and predicates that Sri Lanka will have to be more cautious in dealing with both India and China in order not to become a playground for their power struggle.
 
Rashed Uz Zaman introduces Bangladesh’s views on Sino-Indian contestation and its implication for Bangladesh in Chap. 9. He thinks that Bangladesh’s China policy are composed of economic pragmatism, diplomatic engagement, and political accommodation.Bangladesh has built a deep interdependence and cooperative rela[1]tionship with China aiming at promoting its domestic development while enabling it to counter undue pressure from other regional actors. Nonetheless, he worries that Bangladesh’s room for maneuver is shrinking as the Sino-Indian competition gets more intense in recent years.
 
Khadga K.C. and Gaurav Bhattarai assess Nepal’s relations with China, India, and the US under the pretext of increasing Sino-Indian and Sino-US rivalry in Chap. 10. They point out that Nepal has conventionally adopted an non-alignment, neutrality, and equidistance policy towards the great power as it can’t afford to enter into any kinds of power blocs or strategic alliance owing to its geo-strategic location. In practice, Nepal intends to achieve a growth-oriented development and infrastructure[1]driven prosperity by upgrading itself as a transit between India and China with the help of BRI, but India’s reluctance over China’s proposal of ‘China-India+Nepal’attracted Kathmandu towards the U.S. funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
 
Editors and Affiliations

Nian Peng
Research Centre for SAARC States (RCSS), Hainan Normal University, Haikou, China
 
Ghulam Ali
Sichuan University of Science and Engineering, Zigong, China
 
Yi Zhang
Sichuan University, Chengdu, China