International Relations

The Implications of China’s West Asian Policy for India

China’s growing participation in global power dynamics has been fueled by its diplomatic efforts in West Asia, which have been aided by regional states leveraging their influence with Iran. China’s position as a regional peacemaker has given it a significant advantage in global power struggles, particularly in the aftermath of the diplomatic thaw between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The implications of China’s position in global power dynamics, on the other hand, are far-reaching.

Diplomatic Influence of China in the Region

  • Diplomatic warming between Saudi Arabia and Iran: The political thaw between Saudi Arabia and Iran has pushed China even deeper into the global power struggle. Saudi Arabia and Iran have had a long-standing rivalry, which has contributed to regional volatility. However, the recent diplomatic thaw has given China a chance to increase its influence in the region.
  • China’s position as a broker of peace in West Asia: China’s role as a broker of peace in West Asia has given it a significant advantage in global power struggles. Beijing has used its clout with Iran to negotiate regional peace treaties. China’s diplomatic efforts have largely been effective, and the country has emerged as a key player in global power dynamics.
  • China’s position in global power dynamics: Implications China’s diplomatic efforts have placed it in a unique situation to shape global order, particularly as the United States’ influence declines. Other significant powers are concerned about China’s growing influence, fearing that its ambitions will jeopardise their interests.

West Asian Political and Diplomatic Outreach by India

  • Cultural and geographical proximity: India’s presence in West Asia has been extensive, thanks to a rich cultural past and geographical proximity to the area.
  • Diplomacy and dialogue: While India has not remarked on the Saudi-Iran thaw, it has consistently advocated for diplomacy and dialogue.
  • Many in West Asia believe that India is in a good position to act as a mediator in the region’s conflicts, but India has baulked at such an idea due to its official stance of not supporting third-party mediation with Pakistan on Kashmir.

Relations between India and Iran

  • Sanctions and difficulties in fastening or scaling up development operations at Chabahar Port have hampered India’s relations with Iran.
  • India’s economic relations with Iran have suffered due to sanctions and India’s efforts to build closer ties with the US by promoting talks with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program.
  • India’s strategic interests in Iran remain palpable, particularly in light of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan and Russia’s war against Ukraine.

China’s influence and affect on India’s regional relations

  • China’s ability to sway Iran: China’s growing economic and political clout in Iran could provide it with leverage over Iran’s foreign policy choices, particularly regarding its relations with India. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China has also played a significant role in shaping China’s relations with Iran, and India’s refusal to join the initiative has limited its commercial ties with Iran.
  • Russia and the Middle East: India is concerned about China’s growing collaboration with Russia in the Middle East, especially in Syria. Russia’s increased military cooperation with Iran, combined with its shift towards China, has the potential to establish a power bloc in the region that may not be in India’s best interests.
  • Peacemaker in West Asia: China’s efforts to mediate a diplomatic thaw between the two nations could contribute to a reduction in regional tensions. While this may be viewed positively, it may have an impact on India’s interests in the region, especially given its close ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The need for New Delhi to reposition itself in the area

  • India must keep strong ties with Iran because of its historical ties and strategic interests in the region.
  • India will alsAo need to strike a balance with other regional players, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have been important partners in India’s energy security and economic development.
  • Given the constraints imposed by sanctions and China’s growing presence in the area, India may need to investigate new avenues for economic engagement with Iran.

@the end

China’s position as a peacemaker in West Asia is still evolving, but its impact on regional and global politics has implications for India’s relations with Iran. Given China’s growing influence in West Asia, India’s place in the region will need to be reassessed and its foreign policy adjusted appropriately.

And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.