Abstract

Convergence of India-China interests on Sri Lankan context became critical during post conflict period as it provided the platform for these two powerful nations to check and balance their interests. This paper aims at discussing the impact of their interests on post conflict Sri Lanka. The main objective of the study is to theoretically analyze the convergence of Indo-China interests on above context and their impact on Sri Lanka. To achieve aforesaid objectives qualitative approach has been adopted and secondary data is the main type of data obtained from various sources such as books, journal articles, newspapers, government records and other relevant documents available in both printed and electronic versions. Document analysis, theoretical analysis and descriptive analysis are used to analyze data. In document analysis documents are interpreted to give meaning and it collects available data related to the study and interprets them to find out specific issues. Concepts derive from literature review and theoretical analysis helps to develop broader understanding on those issues and collect new knowledge. Descriptive analysis also used in certain areas to provide comprehensive understanding of collected data. The research findings conclude Chinese influence over the other regions seems inevitable with its rise as a global economic and military power which is perceived as a threat by India. India is also trying to match Chinese rise resulting suspicion and fear psychosis among one another’s achievements.  Both are engaged in a competition to achieve goodwill of their neighbors.  Sri Lanka has become convergence point for both India and China due to its strategic importance in the Indian Ocean and it was intensified during post conflict period. Both attempted to attract the post conflict reconstruction projects but China impressed more positively on Sri Lankan policy makers since its aid came with no influences for domestic politics. India raised the issue on reconciliation and power devolution and even supported UN resolution against Sri Lanka. Chinese approach was more peaceful and beneficial for Sri Lanka whereas India

Research Article

Theoretical analysis on the convergence of India and China’s interests and their impact on post-conflict Sri Lanka

M.S.H.U. Karunarathne

Department of International Studies University of Kelaniya Sri Lanka

ABSTRACT: Convergence of India-China interests on Sri Lankan context became critical during post conflict period as it provided the platform for these two powerful nations to check and balance their interests. This paper aims at discussing the impact of their interests on post conflict Sri Lanka. The main objective of the study is to theoretically analyze the convergence of Indo-China interests on above context and their impact on Sri Lanka. To achieve aforesaid objectives qualitative approach has been adopted and secondary data is the main type of data obtained from various sources such as books, journal articles, newspapers, government records and other relevant documents available in both printed and electronic versions. Document analysis, theoretical analysis and descriptive analysis are used to analyze data. In document analysis documents are interpreted to give meaning and it collects available data related to the study and interprets them to find out specific issues. Concepts derive from literature review and theoretical analysis helps to develop broader understanding on those issues and collect new knowledge. Descriptive analysis also used in certain areas to provide comprehensive understanding of collected data. The research findings conclude Chinese influence over the other regions seems inevitable with its rise as a global economic and military power which is perceived as a threat by India. India is also trying to match Chinese rise resulting suspicion and fear psychosis among one another’s achievements. Both are engaged in a competition to achieve goodwill of their neighbors. Sri Lanka has become convergence point for both India and China due to its strategic importance in the Indian Ocean and it was intensified during post conflict period. Both attempted to attract the post conflict reconstruction projects but China impressed more positively on Sri Lankan policy makers since its aid came with no influences for domestic politics. India raised the issue on reconciliation and power devolution and even supported UN resolution against Sri Lanka. Chinese approach was more peaceful and beneficial for Sri Lanka whereas India

Key words: Convergence, One belt one road, China threat, Peaceful development, Maritime Silk Route, Strategy.

Introduction

Every state has their own distinguished interests and those interests are decided based on their status which means, such interests of a state will change according to their profile which they are experiencing in the international system. Thus, interests of a powerful state are extended in a vast range in global politics. These states could be in regional level and also in global level. We could identify them as regional powers, Great powers or major powers and also the super powers according to their impact over the behavior of other states. Interests of these states will also be based on different concerns such as resources, geo strategic locations and etc. These sates around the world use different types of strategies in order to achieve the specific interest. Power is one of the main concepts which determine their capability of fulfilling the task of achieving interests. If a state has an ability to control the behaviors of other states by using their capabilities such countries could be identified as powerful nations. This could be happened in regional level and also in the global level. So, nations who have more power capabilities than others always try to pursue their interests by using their own capabilities. Generally we could clearly identify the fact that major powers or great powers have different types of power implication methods that use to achieve their interests like, by

using other countries. Especially powerful states who have great capabilities in fields of economic, political, military, can influence directly or indirectly on other state`s behaviors.

China has reached to a significant level in the contemporary world using its great powers because of the Chinese strategically model which can use to achieve national interests of powerful China.

Both China and India are ‘regional powers’ and especially China is one of the ‘Great Power’. These two states are involved in a competition to gain their interests by vanquishing each other. So when formulating their bilateral relations, this dilemma is one of the main concern which created the nature of their relations. When it comes to South Asia, as a hegemonic power, India concerns more about the Chinese activities in the region and does not like its involvement with other neighbors of India. India concern it as a threat to their security and also to their status as the hegemony of South Asia. Therefore, India try to protect their hegemonic power in South Asian region from threats poses by China.

China has established strong and close ties with those South Asian nations excluding India and Bhutan. As mentioned above, Indo-China relations are always carry out in a state of suspicious and Bhutan – China relations also have been hindered due to lack of cooperation. Thus except India and Bhutan all other states have strong relations with China.

Sri Lanka fought a war of thirty years with the separatist terrorist movement which is known as LTTE. LTTE was one of the most dangerous terrorist group which produced human suicide bombers to the world. In the year 2009 Sri Lankan military forces defeated the LTTE terrorism and achieved their victory. Therefore, 2009 is a significant year in the Sri Lankan history. But with the end of this war Sri Lanka had to face different challenges from the outside world. As a result of that their external relations became more complicated and problematic more than ever before. Main reason was, with the support of India, western powers made a resolution in the Geneva human right council against Sri Lanka. They repeatedly exclaimed against the Sri Lankan forces about the human right violations in the last few days of the war. As a result the development of Sri Lanka became more crucial during that time [ 1 ].

Convergence of Indo-China interests on post conflict Sri Lanka emanate various effects that can be analyzed by looking at their relations and the way their relations impact domestic, regional and international politics. Meanwhile India also developing to a level that it could challenge the Chinese rise resulting suspicion and fear psychosis on one another’s achievements. Both are engaged in a competition to achieve goodwill of their neighbors. Sri Lanka it became more competitive level because of strategic importance of Sri Lanka China need to make Sri Lanka as its ally because of strategic importance and to gain South Asian rapport towards their interests. But as a regional power in South Asia India try to counter the involvement of China to protect its status in the region and its security. Therefore India also needs to protect strategic importance and rapport of Sri Lanka towards their policies. The competition on Sri Lanka became more strategically and competitive level post war period in Sri Lanka. Thus the main research focus of this study is to theoretically analyze the convergence of Indo-China interests and their impact on post conflict Sri Lanka.

Methodology

This study has used some principal methodologies to examine the above mentioned objectives. When consider about the type of data that has used in the study, secondary data have been used as its sources. Mainly documentary analysis and theoretical analysis are the key analyzing methods this has used to examine the above mentioned objectives. Document analysis defines a form of qualitative research in which documents are interpreted by the researcher to give voice and meaning. Thus in the documentary analysis, it collects available documents and data which are related to the particular study and interpret them to find out specific issues. It helps to develop deep understanding about the study and to collect new knowledge. This study has used descriptive analysis as well. Descriptive statistics have used to describe the basic features of the data in a study. They provide simple summaries about the sample and the measures together with simpleg raphics analysis ( ). Furthermore, use of direct quotations in the study helps the researcher present an accurate depiction of what is being evaluated.

Literature survey

The study determine the effectiveness of already existing theoretical approaches and the contribution of adopting new conceptual approaches in explaining triangular relationship among India, China and Sri Lanka. The need for such research investigation on relevant study arise from the fact that the existing body of literature considerably lacks in such theoretical attempts that have been made on explaining the Indo-Lanka-China triangular relations based on two theories; namely China threat theory and China peaceful rise theory. However, researcher attempt to explore the existing knowledge on relevant study; with the basis on such findings researcher will present hypothesis throughout the study.

The related studies have been spread vast range of area in different point of views of many scholars. But the vision of the study will be change one to another based on their perspectives and objectives of the study. So different scholarly efforts have been conducted in the area of external relations among China, India and Sri Lanka in different point of views. According to Young and Jong, China is using soft power as a strategy to achieve their national interests. As a result of that China improve their national power and trying to spread their interests around the world. Probably in Asian continent including the countries which are located in the silk route [ 2 ]. Therefore, Chinese soft power practices make competition with the United States and its national interests. Both nations are trying to keep their interests in the Asian continent, as a result of that the nations who are in the continent facing various kind of challenges in their foreign relations. Furthermore Asian states have positive perspective on Chinese involvements in their countries. Can be identified as resources of Chinese soft powe.

Shirin Tahir-Kheli stated, Chinese objectives in South Asia didn’t tally with other super powers who are involve in the competition to achieve the hegemonic position in South Asia. Because Chinese objectives in the region specially created as a security purpose that creates a security dilemma. At the moment Russia and the USA was acting the super powers role in the world (1970) Russia wanted to build up an alliance based on the collective security. Actually it was indirectly mean to the China. As a result of that India sign a new agreement with USSR in 1971. Both parties’ experiences border disputes with China. Therefore China had to happen more careful about their interests. As a result of that China started to conduct more friendly foreign relations towards Pakistan and Bangladesh and other states in the region [ 3 ]. [International political systems into "three worlds” Then according to Mao, the China and rest of Asia (with the exception of Japan), Africa, and Latin America comprised the third world].

Bonnie presents interests and ambitions of the Chinese regime. As he says, The Chinese communist government depends on rapid economic development. Especially they always consider about their economic development empowerment. And through its development buildup their national power in a sustainable way. Chinese leaders create unwanted tensions in Sino-American relation. Chinese government trying to improve the country's comprehensive national power, achieving due respect, especially in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Asia Pacific. Enhancing its military capabilities and assert their regional territorial claims. Military buildup is aimed at providing the basis for coercive diplomacy and maintaining the capability to use force to protect its interest [ 4 ]. John W. Garver stated, China will continue to develop friendly relations with all the countries in South Asia on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Under Indira Gandhi, objected to the increasingly close political and diplomatic relations between Beijing and Colombo. New Delhi opposed President Junius R. Jayewardene's initiation of a military relationship with the United States. Chinese support for Colombo was fairly strong in 198 4 -8 5 as the Tamil insurgency in Sri Lanka escalated and Indo-Lankan relations deteriorated [5]. While the Chinese leadership emphasized on realizing harmonious co-existence, mutual benefit and common development with countries involved through the OBOR initiative, and while they emphasized on realizing peaceful development while helping the others to develop, the world community is unconvinced of China’s agenda of reviving an ancient concept which reminds of the grandiose of the Middle Kingdom. China is being criticized for trying to use charm offensive to gain power and influence through introducing OBOR. China’s neighbours are suspicious of its intentions. They further notes that the charm offensive is absent when it comes to practice in certain issues during the recent years.

Therefore recognizing the advantages in deployment of an effective reassurance language, China developed a new policy reassurance and strategic option, relabeling “peaceful rise” to “peaceful development”. The main advantage of “peaceful development” as a term is that it focuses attention onto China’s internal socio-economic development rather than its external political-military rise [ 6 ].

Zang (2012) China’s rise should be understood as an amalgam of the world’s oldest continuous civilization and a huge modern state which is a product of hundreds of states amalgamated into one over the past thousands of years of history [ 7 ].

Theoretical background

To answer and analyze the problem statement of the study, the researcher will be four important theories. They are namely; Realism, neoliberalism, China threat theory, peaceful development theory. The Peaceful Development Theory as a Chinese perspective of their emergence and China’s Threat Theory as Western and Indian view of china’s concept of Peaceful Development or Rise will be discussed under the theory of Realism.

Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism is related with the second era of globalization, the emergence of neoliberalism indicates after the period of Second World War. Neoliberalism, in brief, is an ideology that attempts to reduce the classical liberal concepts. Unlike the 1950’s “neoliberals” who emphasized the importance to reduce the power of markets and increase the role of the state in order to ensure the needs and democratic wishes of citizens could be better served, while still retaining a liberal commitment to markets and private property, but the 1980’s neoliberals focused to reduce the capacity of democratic political activity altogether by pushing the state out of the economy as much as was possible. As a result of that basically the duty of a state will be poses such duties of police and courts. Actually the state will be a “night watchman state” with only the most minimal functions while everything else would be left to the market.

As per Nonini since the late 1970s, China has experienced significant economic growth with the reforms such as privatization and de-nationalization of economic enterprises, the opening of export markets and new partnerships of state cadres with transnational investors in addition to Local Township, provincial and domestic entrepreneurs. Deng Xiaoping invited investment from abroad in Chinese industries. Ownership of industries by foreigners and by individual citizens was exist alongside state-owned industries. Furthermore high levels of public investment, and the accession to the WTO in 2001, foreign direct investment (FDI) in China has been very important to this dramatic growth of the Chinese economy. China exceeding 9% economic growth per year over more than twenty years. Since the 1970s, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has emerged as an important actor with regard to global governance. China has acquired membership of various institutions of international cooperation, most notably the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in 1971 and the WTO in 2001.

Furthermore China's market reforms and opening up have demonstrated many definitive characteristics of Neoliberalization. The conception of a neoliberal urban China has been disputed by others who emphasized on the particular state-market relations in China that appear to be deviant from the neoliberal prescription. Despite increased marketization of the planned economy, the socialist state has maintained its power and exerted strong control over market transition and this is in contrast with the neoliberal doctrine that prioritizes the interests of market forces and minimizes the distortion of state intervention [ 8 ].

Peaceful development theory

In international system, players will always emerge time to time. Thus China and India are two new emerging powers in global system. Both are involving to gain their interest by vanquishing each other. China’s emergence as a major economic and military power is the most crucial phenomena in the 21st century. In the late 1 9 70s leadership of China made a strategic decision to reform its economic system and to open up to the world economy. China’s emergence has been identified by its economic expansion from late 1 9 70s and 1980s onwards, which paved the way to become a dominant power on a global level. China is expected to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy by 2030 [9].

Neoliberals believes China’s rise creates an integration into a “peaceful world system through economic and diplomatic engagement and a web of normative obligations”

The theory of "Peaceful rise" was the official policy under the

leadership of Hu Jintao who was the former president of China. Zheng Bijian who was the foreign policy adviser to Hu Jintao, described this new term as a new strategy which implicate by China to engage with global affairs in peaceful manner with demanding economic globalization through independent of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In effect, this was an attempt to stand against "China's Threat Theory." The concept of "peaceful rise" was attempting to blurb the character of China as a responsible global player, and China wanted to convince that China is a state which committed to its domestic issues and the welfare needs of its citizens, before interfering and challenge with global affairs. But, later the term was renamed as “Peaceful development theory

“China will keep to the path of peaceful development. We have just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese people’s resistance against Japanese aggression and the world anti-fascist war. An important lesson history teaches us is that peaceful development is the right path, while any attempt to seek domination or hegemony through force is against the historical trend and doomed to failure. The Chinese recognized as early as 2,000 years ago that though a country is now strong, varicosity will lead to its ruling. China’s defense policy is defensive in nature and its military strategy features active defense. Let me reiterate here that no matter how developed it could become, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.”

- Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers the only public policy speech of his U.S. visit during a dinner co-hosted by the National Committee in 2015- (source: www.ncuscr.org)

Therefore China believed freedom of economies, free trade between states, free flow of goods and capital etc. Such believes indicates open-up of China policies to world despite isolationism. But when it’s come to practice China believes their own strength and capabilities. Thus their own capabilities and strength creates background for suspicious their activities to other actors in an international system. This situation led to the security dilemma among other states who consider as a threat of China’s emergence. Countries like India involve with real competition in global level to challenge emergence of China on the consideration of threat. Furthermore Chinese president stated as follow as,

Realism

The theory of realism consider as reality of real politics. They believe that structure of international relations will stay anarchic, there is no authority over the nation-state. Therefore that states should only pursue what is in their own self-serving interest. That is to say, all states have to aspiration on their own resources to secure their interests. To achieve their aspirations, states will enforce their agreements which they have signed or will sign with other states, or states will engage to control the desirable domestic and international structure. States should exercise dominance or try to become dominant as much as they can. Such situation will emphasize the role of the nation-state and make a broad assumption that all nation-states are motivated by national interests. Realism consider politics as struggle for power and seeks to explain it with the help of such factors as power, security and national interest.

The term realism divide into two assumptions in its perspective.

  1. Classical realism

  2. Structural realists ( Neorealism )

Kenneth Waltz is Defensive realists who coined the new perspective of realism; acquire of too much power for state is unwise. Because the system will punish them. Offensive realists like John Mearsheimer argue that it makes strategic sense for states to acquire as much power as possible, and even to pursue hegemony. For structural realists, human nature is not the most important basis for power. Rather than, the nature of the international system pave the way for states to pursue power. The neorealism theory will be divide into two.

  1. Offensive Realism

  2. Defensive Realism

Therefore states will take necessary offensive actions to counter any threats which are emerge as barriers in the way of their position, also states will behave in the same manner when achieving their interests. There are different forms of national interests. Some states may have an interest in securing more resources or land; other states will to expand their own political or economic agendas or capabilities into other regions or states. Some states achieve their interests as a single achievement with their own capabilities, as the position of USA and China in today world. But some other states achieve their interests as a collective achievement, ex: European Union. Thus states maximize their power and influence to achieve their dominance in the world. That is state will engage in offensive approach to achieve their interests. But it is simply rational for every state to acquire sufficient power to defend itself to prevent that any attack which come from outside. That is to say state will take defensive approach to counter or prevent any threat which come from outside over their interests [ 10 ] [ 11 ].

China threat theory

China Threat theory is the theory that the rise of China poses a threat to the stability, peace and security of the world. The word “rise” of China actually indicate that this move is against present existing global order. Therefore the formulation of a country to “rise” is never peaceful. That is what the perspective of other power blocs about the emergence of China in their sense of peaceful manner. Thus, other counter parties of China around the world believe that the rise of China poses a threat to the global stability.

Since last century Western powers and its allies try to control the emergence of China. But they have become failed because of their misjudgments, wrong predictions, unexpected situations, and hesitation. Among all of them, hard work and intentional objectives of China led its standing position in today world. Now it is hard to challenge to China with its drastic capabilities.

As China’s impressive economic growth continues over the next few decades, the United States and China are likely to engage in deep security competition with considerable potential for war The ultimate goal of every great power is to maximize its share of world power and eventually dominate the system [ 12 ].

Therefore, the emergence of one state as global power always threat to the existing global power. Furthermore, such emergence will be threat to other states which are competitive for the global power. As a result of that such emerging power consider as a threat by other states who are involved in global power struggle. That is what happened in case of China, Their emergence became a threat not an only for the U.S.A but also for all other emerging global and regional powers like India.

Data Presentation and analysis

Imperatives of Post Conflicts Sri Lanka

Post conflict political situation in Sri Lanka became more controversial because domestic political interests of internal factors in the country and also from outside world. After defeat LTTE Sri Lanka became the first nation which physically eliminate terrorism from the country in 21st century. After 1976 LTTE made a huge challenge to Sri Lanka political system. The terrorist movement always destroyed the peaceful coexistence in the country including destruction of thousands of human lives and properties. In effect 2009 was the significant year of Sri Lankan history and mark the victory by defeating terrorism. But, no one believed the victory will make a challenge to Sri Lanka. That is to say, after the defeat of terrorism, LTTE allied diaspora with the support of some western nations made a resolution against Sri Lanka in 2009 at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. The situation was reminded to government of Sri Lanka, the war is not still enough. Sri Lanka was understood that physical victory never made their lasting and sustainable peace to Sri Lanka. Therefore, they had to happened fight in strategical and diplomatic ways to counter the resolution that made against Sri Lankan victory. They were voiced the victory as contravene of Human Rights of Tamil people during the last period of war. Therefore the political situation in post conflict Sri Lanka made a great challenge to the respective government in that time. With the critical background of Sri Lankan political system there were some external power involvement to the internal factors of country brings positive and negative consequences. Among those states India and china could be identify as the most influential state which are involved in the post conflict Sri Lanka. In effect, after the post war period Reconciliation process, Justice Process, Peacebuilding, Human rights, inquiries of missing persons and resettlement of people brought big challenge to government of Si Lanka. Because of the involvement of international community on the issue. Therefore after 2009 those issues were internationalize ever happened before. Among these issues, former government of Sri Lanka incriminated for Human Right violation during the last period of war. Thus when comes to China and India factors with the involvement on the issue, India conduct pro-west allied position by neglecting Sri Lanka’s interests with historical friendship of India. If India wanted to control the issue as a regional hegemon, they had to do more despite accepting criticism against Sri Lanka while inquiring about the issue on their own perspective. Especially, Tamilnadu factor is the main consideration of Indian government. Because Indian national politics always depend on their party politics of Indian states. If Indian government need to hold their power in national politics, they have to have listen to their states. As a result of government of India continuously voted against Sri Lanka in favor of western powers and Tamilnadu political interests. Party politics in India use this issue only for their electoral purposes. They always represented as liberator of Tamil people despite the government of Sri Lanka. Such inappropriate Indian mediation to internal politics in Sri Lanka will led to decrease their popularity and trust as a hegemon in South Asia; Especially in Sri Lanka. India struggle with their internal politics when conducting its foreign policy. Therefore India has political interests on Sri Lanka rather than economic interests. India has to do a responsibility to protect its neighbors from threats which are come from outside the region. If India need to protect its regional and global level status as a powerful state, they have to build up their trust and goodwill towards other states. First to their neighborhood. But in case of Sri Lanka their approach is very problematic. Indian implementations were not made lasting peace or reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Consequently, Indian behavior on Sri Lankan issue, made foreign policy of Sri Lanka narrower towards China. In International arena China voiced for Sri Lanka with their fullest support. Especially, in the United Nations Security Council, China strongly rejected those accusations over Sri Lanka by using their veto power. During the war period also China provided the military armaments and aircrafts to Sri Lanka including huge amount of economic benefits. China and their aid were help to Sri Lanka eradicate the civil war in its northern parts and brought peace. America, India and other some western nations denied their foreign aid and support to Sri Lanka when it’s most needed due to the allegations against of it against war crimes and human rights violations. Therefore, the foreign policy of Sri Lanka started to align towards china during the tenure of Mahinda Rajapaksa (former President of Sri Lanka). Foreign policy of the Countries such as Sri Lanka totally depends upon the government which is ruling the country. That period was one of the best tenure of their relations. During his term there were many projects conducted by China. Expressways, Hambanthota harbor, Mattala airport, port city and many other projects. Those project were economically benefited for both countries. Comparatively, relations between SLINDIA, were damage time to time. The main reason is internal politics of India with Tamil government of Tamilnadu. Among all these identifications, the purpose of China behind the assistance on Sri Lanka comparatively great advantage to China to their emergence in the world through South Asia by defeating India. Post war peaceful Sri Lanka is good strategic point to China to establish their power to dominate the Indian Ocean.

Chinese Peaceful rise strategies and their implications

One belt, one road (OBOR) initiative.

One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is China’s new foreign and economic policy. It is a grand development strategy to connect China with Central Asia and Europe countries through lands. One belt one road, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a concept introduced by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 with an objective to reestablishment of the ancient trade routes connecting Asia to Europe. The main objective is to build trade routes between China and the countries in Central Asia, Europe and Indo-Pacific littoral countries .  In other words OBOR or BRI is a network of roads, railways, oil pipelines, power grids, ports and other infrastructural projects meant to connect China to the world . OBOR covers countries throughout the Asian continent from China to the rest of Eurasia. The plan is to connect the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. This will connect Chinese coastline with SE Asia, South Asia, Gulf and East coast of Africa. China will build hard and soft maritime infrastructure. It will include trade liberalization, new ports, custom coordination, e-commerce, and policy coordination.

The OBOR policy has two routes

  1. ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ - This is a land based route. It will connect China with Central Asia, Eastern and Western Europe.

  2. ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ - This is sea based. It will connect China to South-East Asia, Africa, South Asia and Central Asia.

This initiative, One Belt and One Road (OBOR) aims to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation, including policy coordination, trade and financing collaboration, and social and cultural cooperation. Through open discussion, “OBOR” can create benefits for everyone.

“OBOR” is an ambitious project and it encompasses almost 65 countries. China has planned around $1 trillion of investment in various infrastructure projects by   providing aids and loans to the countries which are involved at a low cost. Sri Lanka also one of the key point of their Maritime Silk Road strategy. Therefore all the implications and considerations on “OBOR” directly effect on Sri Lanka as contributor to Chinese interest in the Indian Ocean. China created an opportunity to influence on Sri Lanka by providing benefits to the country. “OBOR” is not only a regional policy but a grand global strategy for achieving the "Chinese Dream". While there is little chance that China will be able to create a large area of influence around the world, the potential impact on global politics cannot be overlooked [ 13 ].

Figure 1 Fig1 (Source: MERICS, DW)

Overall, we can see that China's goal for “OBOR” is not only economic in nature but also political. On the one hand, China has numerous domestic problems to solve and many international impediments to overcome; on the other hand, the promotion of the “OBOR” policy, if it proceeds successfully, could solve both China's internal and external problems simultaneously by expanding China's export market through a friendlier international environment [ 14 ].

Above mentioned statements clearly emphasize the hidden ambition of “OBOR”. According to their statements there will be grand economic opportunity to China with large scale of influencing capabilities around the world. Therefore the “OBOR” brings not an only economic benefits but also Chinese dominance to other territories. In other words, "ONE BELT, ONE ROAD" is a plan of China to get access to resources of central Asia, such as oil and gas resources and to develop its trade by having multiple routes by both sea and land.

The OBOR strategy is often reported as China’s ambitious push to take a bigger role in global affairs and expand its friend circle. China wants to develop global power by expanding its influence. Sri Lanka also became one of the main participant of this OBOR on the basis of its strategical position in Indian Ocean. Goodwill of those states will make better strong output to their economic expansion within their markets. Therefore, One Belt One Road will empower China as a greater influencer in coming years.

China wants to achieve at least the following five goals. First, China wants to solve the problem of over capacity by expanding the overseas market in the countries that will participate in OBOR. Second, China wants to procure indispensable resources for development by facilitating its relationships with the countries that have these resources and the countries that control the shipping channels. Third, China wants to consolidate its strategic security by balancing the degrees of development between the southeast costal and the northwest inland regions. Fourth, China wants to upgrade its industries from labor-intensive to tech-intensive by implementing advanced standards of infrastructure such as high-speed rail and electronic power systems and promoting their adoption in the developing countries that participate in “OBOR”. Fifth, China wants to increase its leadership role in these developing countries by initiating international cooperation and stimulating the construction of basic infrastructure that can facilitate economic growth. These five goals together reveal China's grand strategy toward the world in the future [ 15 ].

"It is our hope that via the Belt and Road initiative, we will unleash new economic forces for global growth, build new platforms for global development, and rebalance economic globalization,” -Xi Jing ping- (Source: )

Convergence on India –China Interests and perceived threat theory

From a Chinese foreign policy perspective, while its principal objective in South Asia is avoiding a military confrontation with India, it has sought to enhance the autonomy of the smaller South Asian nations (Aiyengar:2010). India is seeking domination of South Asia that would preclude China from pursuing its legitimate interests in its neighborhood; Chinese presence and interest in Myanmar, and sale of military hardware to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are at times seen in an adverse light. China’s strategy to acquire port facilities for its navy in Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has been also called China’s “String of Pearls” by some Western analysts.

China has clearly learned lessons from history for each and every incident. Therefore, if China need to protect its communist party government, they have to accept some reasonable changes in their governance. Because, if it is not Chinese communism also will collapse as it happened in Russia and many other communist countries. Existing features of Chinese authoritarianism as practiced from the time of Deng Xiaoping through the present did confer certain advantages. Therefore China represents a set of ideas and policies which are together oppose war and advocate the reform of international community through dependence upon moral values and the development of international institutions and international trade. Merely China peruse its economic interests to become a super power of the world by implementing the neoliberal policies throughout their agendas. Therefore, China always try to pretend their attempt not for concur the world, they poses peaceful emergence by implementing win-win strategy which will benefit to all other states.

India has abandon the OBOR initiative due to its which are highly effect on Indian position in the region. Also India clearly understood the reality behind the OBOR which has been strengthen capabilities of China that will challenge to Indian aspirations in near future. When consider about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through the Indian Territory ( Disputed Kashmir territory between India and Pakistan ). It trespasses India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. India has a dominance in the Indian Ocean and is worried about the Chinese investment in the Maritime route through the Indian Ocean. States such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Maldives encourage their economic and maritime activities with China as a result of OBOR. In effect those states connected each other through the belt economic line. That will be a threat to India. India accuse the OBOR initiative lacks transparency. India has much to lose out in terms of economic boost through greater integration with other countries. India also risks isolation as all its neighboring countries are a part of this initiative. To mitigate the damage, it should build ties with other countries and increase its spending on infrastructure.

As a Great power and Asian hegemon China has gradually expanded its influence into the Bay of Bengal and to the Arabian Sea areas by developing and building ports and conducting many other projects. Countries in South Asia such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, directly impact on Chinese influences. But the emergence of China in their way not consider as a threat to the world. China always emphasize that their emergence is a peaceful attempt which benefitted to all other states. That is the reason lie behind them promoting their peaceful development as a strategy to counter the ideology on China threat theory. But implications of China totally different from USA. Because China clearly identify such factors which are hindering the U.S policies in some other parts of the world. Therefore when they attempt to achieve their targets China practices different strategy rather than U.S apply to achieving their interests.

Thus the influence of China over the regions is unpreventable, because of its position of the world. South Asian context is a very important area to China on the basis of following reasons.

  1. The Indian factor.

  2. Economic interests around the South Asian States.

  3. Geo strategic importance

China has already maintaining good and strong diplomatic relations with South Asian states. Also China enhance their friendly hands towards South Asian states by improving relationship with neighbor states of India. China invest billions of dollar on projects that they are conducting around the states, such as building ports, airports, hotels, roads- highways, cities etc. Sri Lanka is great example for those implications. But such developments clearly indicate the success and achievements of all their objectives that mentioned above.

Figure 2 Fig2 (Source: iakal.wordpress.com)

The image clearly explain that question, why India consider China as a threat? China covered all the aspirations of India. India is the main challenge and obstacle for China in the Asia in establishing its position as a hegemony, Therefore China always attempt to encircle India from every possible side while them achieving their economic interests through OBOR and MSR strategies. They have already constructed their bases in Djibouti and Pakistan, along with these bases they have constructed ports in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar to encircle India in the Indian Ocean region both economically and militarily.

Conclusion

China is gradually increasing its influence into the Indian Ocean and South Asia. India is suspicious that such involvements are threat to their security. As both are emerging global powers are engaged in a competition to achieve their interests by vanquishing each other. Both states are locked in a traditional IR concept security dilemma. China attempt to pretend their emergence as a peaceful development. OBOR is one of their key strategy under the peaceful development. Sri Lanka also an important part of their Maritime Silk Route strategy. Therefore, China and India are involve in a competition over Sri Lanka to protect their interests on little island nation. The reason is Sri Lanka located in a mid-point on one of the world's busiest international shipping lanes. Significant geo strategic location of Sri Lanka invite to major players to clash each other interests over the regions when achieving their regional and global level interests. A retired Indian army colonel and specialist in South Asian geopolitics R.Hariharan stated,

"Sri Lanka is the pivotal point for a global grand strategy, Sri Lanka's geography gives it an advantage disproportionate to its size." -www.cnbc.com - (24 April 2016).

Strategic location brings its highest advantage to Sri Lanka. Therefore rulers of the island need to understand how to manage such interests and balance of power struggles which are coming from great powers over the country, while protecting their own interests. Otherwise, in near future Sri Lanka will be like a sandwich between two great powers.