South Asia is becoming theater for the geopolitical rivalry of the main Asian powers – India and China, RISS experts at the Сenter for Asia and the Asia-Pacific region write in the analytical article of journal "National Strategy Issues". Various Chinese and Indian initiatives dealing with development of infrastructural projects in countries of the region enable to strengthen economic, military-political, informational, and other ways Beijing and New Delhi influence the world, promoting their national geopolitical interests.
The construction of China's international transport corridors within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative faces significant difficulties, both economic and political, RISS experts point out. These include the engineering problems, financing troubles, as well as the peculiarities of domestic political development in the partner countries. The aforesaid challenges essentially hamper the implementation of projects. In addition, Beijing cannot ignore the growing opposition to its projects from the United States that considers the Chinese initiatives a direct challenge to the US interests in the region.
The Indian officials perceive the Chinese initiatives as Beijing's intention to considerably strengthen its political influence in the region, RISS experts underscore. As a result, New Delhi is very concerned about a possible shift in the balance of power in South Asia in China's favor. Such a shift is fraught with a significant weakening of India's influence. "Due to their economic importance, international transport corridors play a unique role in the development of bilateral relations and trade and economic cooperation," they concluded.