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Race for supremacy: India, Japan plan alternative to counter China's OBOR

Discussion in 'World Economy' started by randomradio, May 17, 2017.

  1. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/race-for-supremacy-india-japan-plan-alternative-to-china-s-obor-117051501273_1.html

    Away from the glare of the multi-nation “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative at Beijing, India and Japan plan to soft launch their own Asia-Africa connectivity project this month. Like OBOR, the Indo-Japanese plan is also predicated on a race for supremacy in the Indian Ocean.

    The background for the latter is the discussions held between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe when they met for their annual summit at Tokyo last November.



    The venue for its launch will be the upcoming annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to be held at Ahmedabad from May 22. For both Japan and India, the meeting is a highly significant event to draw attention to their strength as partner nations in a project that demonstrates the same type of ambition as OBOR does.


    The setting is also appropriate as it will be made in front of the political leadership of the 78 member countries of the AfDB, including 53 member states from the continent. The annual report will be the occasion for AfDB to launch its African Economic Outlook 2017 Report, jointly produced with OECD and UNDP.


    Both India and Japan have decided not to participate in OBOR as each has its own reasons not to be drawn into the multi-continent plan that will be dominated by China. Most of the projects showcased by China at the launch aim to connect the Eurasian landmass and Indo-Pacific maritime routes through a maze of road, rail and port projects hooped through several countries to connect mainland China to markets in both Asia and Europe.


    Instead, Japan has proposed a more democratic alternative, building on the maritime route stretching from its shores to Africa, and taking in India along the way. According to the draft discussion paper, accessed by Business Standard, this will also loop in the European market. The key aspect of the Indo-Japanese collaboration emphasises there should be “a free and open Indo-Pacific region, factoring in India’s ‘Act East’ Policy and Japan’s ‘Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure’.” The emphasis on the Indian Ocean is significant as OBOR also includes a maritime plan with the same level of energy.


    India and Japan will obviously hope to compete with it building ports in friendly nations to expand mutually reinforcing trade.

    The stress on a “free ocean” in the document is a nod to Japan’s discomfort about the way China has made inroads into South China Sea and is extending its reach into the Indian Ocean, drifting close to India with a ring of ports. India has also made its discomfort clear about the Chinese position. The other elements of the Indo-Japanese plan recognise India’s Act East policy — its bid to reach out to its neighbours and beyond in Southeast Asa but which is again getting stymied by China’s active wooing of Myanmar, India’s road to the region.

    The plan as a paper prepared by the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) shows it is still in the drafting stage and at least a year away from being committed to by the concerned countries. Consequently, there is no mention of any level of investment that would follow through. Japan clearly has a strong ability to construct infrastructure and the financial depth to underwrite those, and that is what it intends to do in the African continent. The partnership will initially “focus on countries on the eastern coast of Africa... In the initial phase, seven countries on the east coast — Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa may be taken up”. Yet as Japan has little if any contact with these nations, India’s far broader reach will be critical to deliver on these promises. It is this combination that New Delhi and Tokyo will seek to build upon.
     
  2. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Towards this, the thrust on Africa by the present government as denoted by numerous high level engagements by MoS Foreign Affairs is an important step in the right direction. The need of the hour, however, is to show tangible results on ground, in a time bound manner as opposed to the perpetual delay in any Indian initiative/undertaking.

    Let's see how this pans out
     
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  3. Degenarate

    Degenarate FULL MEMBER

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    What is the current image of India vis a vis China in the minds of Africans? The recent spurt of attacks on Africans in India and the inherent racial bias they face in India did send out negative signals to them. I know in geopolitics you don't become friends but partners but still sometimes perception is more important than intent especially when you are wooing a new partner. Here image becomes super important.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  4. Sweet-detention

    Sweet-detention FULL MEMBER

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    India still has a good image in mind of African people. A stupid incident can't change african's perception about India.
     
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  5. SrNair

    SrNair Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Chinese also dont have favourable image among the Africans.
    Entire projects of China is really revolving around loans and Chinese workers.
     
  6. SrNair

    SrNair Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Japan is involved ,so this time it will have the capacity to counter China
     
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  7. SrNair

    SrNair Captain FULL MEMBER

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    This is just not one incident .
    They are facing this racism for a long time .African students are now telling to their citizens in their nation that India is not a good place for staying .
    Having said that ,Japan has more influence than us ,even than China.
     
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  8. A_poster

    A_poster Captain FULL MEMBER

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    China has worst stories about racial discrimination, and in this case a lot of those stories emerge from African countries themselves. There is no point in self flagellating on racism. White and Han societies are built on concept of racism, while in our society, it is oblique.
     
  9. SrNair

    SrNair Captain FULL MEMBER

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    We have caste system not racism.
    Hans are racists.Their animes are bright examples :D
    Remember a Chinese ad about Washing powder.
    A lady kicked a black guy in to a washing machine and add our companies detergent .Final result was a white asian man :lol:
     
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  10. The BrOkEn HeArT

    The BrOkEn HeArT 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    I was expecting it.
     
  11. Pushyamitra

    Pushyamitra IDF NewBie

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    We dont need another bhai bhai relationship. our relationship with other developing countries should be strictly professional.
     
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  12. Sweet-detention

    Sweet-detention FULL MEMBER

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    In modern world Its hardly possible to put bilateral or multilateral relationships in category of 'strictly professional'. This is the game of diplomacy and manipulation. Chinese have been playing this game with near perfection.We need to be smart and wise. International relations are based on power dynamics. Powerful ones rule here.
     
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  13. Zen0

    Zen0 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    This is brilliant , Japan being the 3rd largest economy has huge influence on south east, south korea is itching to join , same with Vietnam .

    India being a nation with 95% of the south Asian gdp can influence burma , Bangladesh, Nepal once its started.
     
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  14. SrNair

    SrNair Captain FULL MEMBER

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    In short Might is Right.
    Until It was US that has final word in geopolitics .Now China is entering in to the arena .I hope India will follow suit within one decade.
     
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  15. Sweet-detention

    Sweet-detention FULL MEMBER

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    Hope so..but we need a strong leadership and political will for that. Present govt is doing quite well in that front.
     
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