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Despite Differences, Global Interests of India & China Largely Coincide, Says Expert

© AP PhotoIn this Feb. 10, 2021, file photo provided by the Indian Army, tanks pull back from the banks of Pangong Tso lake region, in Ladakh along the India-China border.
In this Feb. 10, 2021, file photo provided by the Indian Army, tanks pull back from the banks of Pangong Tso lake region, in Ladakh along the India-China border. - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.04.2023
New Delhi currently chairs the SCO, the first time it is doing so since joining the organization in 2017. India is also this year’s chair for the G-20 grouping.
Despite the ongoing military standoff between India and China in the eastern Ladakh region, the “global interests” of the two Asian giants largely coincide, an expert has told Sputnik.
Boris Volkhonsky, the Associate Professor at the Institute of Asian and African Countries at the Institute of Asian and African Countries, underscored that both New Delhi and Beijing “rightly claim” to be the leaders of the “new world order”.

“Both the countries absolutely reject the dictates of a hegemon and are firmly against a unipolar world order. They both are strongly in favor of new power centres in the world towards the larger goal of getting to a multilateral world order,” stated Volkhonsky.

In the same vein, Volkhonsky reckoned that the “global interests” of India and Pakistan also converge to a great degree, be it on the issue of climate change, debt treatment, food and energy security, or effective multilateralism, to name a few.
SCO Defence Ministers' meet in New Delhi on 28 April 2023 - Sputnik India, 1920, 28.04.2023
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“The monopoly of the so-called Global West on the international system is coming to an end, and the role of the Global South is definitely growing,” he stated, echoing PM Narendra Modi, who has said that one of India’s priorities as the G-20 President would be to give voice to the concerns of low and middle-income nations that comprise Global South.

India Pursuing a ‘More Balanced Foreign Policy’

Volkhonsky said that New Delhi, as this year’s chair of the SCO and G-20, would be pursuing a “more balanced foreign policy”, and won’t look to escalate issues with either Pakistan or China, unless in case of a contingency.
He opined that New Delhi’s endeavour to reach a “consensus” on major issues was reflected in its G-20 slogan— One Planet, One Family, One Destiny.
“The Kashmir dispute has been ongoing since 1947 and is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. It is clear that neither side wants to escalate tensions, so they will try to avoid conflicts, although they cannot be ruled out completely, as it could be just a matter of a command of a unit deciding that the other side has crossed a red line,” the expert remarked.

SCO Can Help in Removing Mistrust in the Region, Says Expert

Volkhonsky said that the SCO and other multilateral formats such as BRICS and Russia, India and China (RIC) could play a role in removing conventional differences and bringing the regional countries closer.
He, however, added that the groupings such as RIC needed to grow into a “real association” than existing just as “intellectual platforms”.
 - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.03.2023
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The academic highlighted that the entry of Iran into the SCO would contribute to effective multilateralism.

“The recent entry of Tehran shows that such civilizational centers like India, Russia, China, and Iran may well become the cornerstone for a new world order and serve as an alternative to the global West,” stated Volkhonsky.

The expert proffered that connectivity initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) must be further developed in order to help the purpose of “regional integration”
“These projects could well be combined within a single system,” Volkhonsky reckoned.
However, he noted that both India and China, the two biggest markets in the world, should overcome their “differences” on the BRI before any progress on these initiatives could take place.
New Delhi has repeatedly objected to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), passing through ‘Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK)’.
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