Published:  01:15 AM, 29 June 2020

No more border clash for regional economic interest

No more border clash for regional economic interest

In Asia region, border clash along with border killings turned into a fashion for over the past decades. In response to United Nations (UN), many countries planned to stop such heinous activity along the border. Still now, some nations are in  progress to fight regarding disputed areas.

The border clash claims many lives every year. No fair judgment came in favor of the people who were killed along the border. Rather the killers get favor from many quarters. Considering the gravity of current situation of covid-19, border standoff held in Asian countries- India and China, India and Nepal should be stopped.

Besides, India  and Bhutan are now locked in silent clash over channel-water sharing. The Asia region has made remarkable progress over the past decades in terms of economic growth. To keep economic wheel running in the region, there is no alternative to stop clash right now.   

According to WTO (2020) estimation, world merchandise trade is set to fall by between 13-32% in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic. The global economy also could suffer a loss amounting to $ 5.8 - $8.8 trillion, equivalent to 6.4 to 9.7 percent of global GDP- Asian Development Bank said recently. To cover economic loss, the world leading economies must take precautionary measures.

In the meantime, US-China trade war made frustration the world people amid pandemic. Some nations have become busy to occupy disputed area in the recent times. The Asian countries - India, China, Nepal and Bhutan  are now quarreling on little issue. Hand to hand clash may turn into big skirmish shortly if some allies do not come to solve. 

Sadly speaking, the world's two largest economies - China and India are carrying out firing one another along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of boarder area. The fighting began recently following little cause. The two nations are now preparing to swoop on one another with sharp weapons and ammunition. In any time, the battle turns into a big fighting.

If the fighting continues for longer period, there is possibility to experience economic loss severely. A violent face-off took place between the Indian and Chinese armies in the Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15 in which 20 Indian military personnel were killed. According to US intelligence sources, more than 35 Chinese soldiers were also killed during the skirmish.

As per provisions of two bilateral agreements sealed in 1996 and 2005, armies of two sides do not use firearms. India has changed the rules of engagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to allow the field commanders to approve the use of fire arms in eastern Ladakh- the  place of battle.

A report  from New Delhi said the Indian government also granted the three services additional financial powers of up to Rs 500 crore per procurement project to buy ammunition and weapons in view of the tense border standoff with China.

Following recent clash India has planned to stop the use of Chinese products. Besides, India has recently raised import duties on Chinese 300 products. The decision came following Asian Development Bank (ADB) grim projection on Indian economy.

ADB said that Indian economy is expected to shrink by 4 percent during the current financial year. As to why, many hard steps by India  are to be taken shortly. India totally failed to control the novel coronavirus where china performed best to control the deadly virus.

The clash must affect long-lasting trading between China and India. Bilateral trade between China and India was worth $88 billion in the fiscal year ending March 2019. The trade deficit of $53.5 billion in China's favor. Between April 2019 and February 2020, India 's trade deficit with China was $46.8 billion.

China is the largest trading partner for Bangladesh with annual bilateral trade totaling over $ 13 billion. China's USD 38 billion investment in Bangladesh, in combination with USD 24.45 billion in bilateral assistance for infrastructure projects and USD 13.6 billion in joint ventures in addition to the USD 20 billion in loan agreements that were made soon after the visit of President Xi Jinping in 2016.

According to published report in a daily, export to India from Bangladesh was US $ 361 million in 2012 where the volume increased to US $ 873 million in the first half of 2018. Nevertheless, recently signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)and trans-shipment deal would turn both economies into prosperous as well as competitive.

A land locked country- Nepal recently finalized its disputed area in the parliament that was consumed by neighboring India. Nepal led by China was able to show much courage's to settle the issue with India.

Nepal's aggressive posture against India made the region frustrated. Though Nepal is dependent on China in respect of fast-moving consumer goods, Nepal should maintain  neutral relations in Asia region. What China wants now is unknown to me despite being leading economy in the world.

Any kind of clash ruins economic activity. China and India are going forward with setting a number of goals. Besides, China- Bangladesh- India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) under " One Belt and One Road Initiative" (OBOR) undertaken by Chinese president Xi in 2013 is to be executed soon.

BCIM-EC helps the region to be bolstered economically. So, the battle should be stopped right now. What is worrying that many economic corridors have become inoperative due to regional clash resulting in collapse trade activity.

India was again attacked by another neighboring country-Bhutan Just after China and Nepal.  Bhutan has silently stopped releasing channel water for Indian farmers along the border in Baksa district of Assam. Since 1953, Bhutan is providing channel water to Indian farmers for irrigation purpose of 26-village of the district. Expressing their gratitude for releasing water for irrigation purpose over the decades, the demonstrators also demanded the central government to take up the issue with Bhutan counterpart for keeping economic interest in mind.

The economic activity would be affected much by the decision of stopping channel water for irrigation from Bhutan side. Currently, China- Japan-India should work as the guardians of other Asian countries that are lagging behind economically.

The events of border clash and border killings are not new in the world at all. A best selling English language daily of Bangladesh reported that a total of 294 Bangladeshis were killed by Indian BSF along the border in the last 10 years. Thousand on-duty soldiers along the border sacrificed their lives centering border issue all of a sudden. Nevertheless, for border security reasons, the economies have to reserve fund.

As a result of incurring huge military cost, India set to face economic debacle shortly. On the contrary, as a branded economy- China should never be locked in clash with neighboring countries. One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBOR) surely create a friendly relation among the countries lying in the region.

I think, India's green signal is more important for implementation OBOR. China expects speedy support from India side in this regard aiming to execute the much-needed project. Trade and commerce expansion in the region would be widely noticed if any types of clash are stopped for good. The decision of stopping border clash and border killings would help Asia region to be promoted economically in days to come.

The writer is an analyst of
economic affairs.
Email: [email protected]

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