Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 8th, 2020

Promote Regional Cooperation in South Asia and Maintain Regional Peace and Prosperity

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Promote Regional Cooperation in South Asia and Maintain  Regional Peace and Prosperity

Pakistan said on the 13th that it has decided to allow Afghanistan to export to India through the Waga border from July 15. This is not only to facilitate transit trade for Afghanistan at the special request of the Afghan government, but also for Pakistan to fulfill its commitment under the Transit Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan (APTTA)to help Afghanistan tide over the difficulties during the novel coronavirus epidemic. What is more, Pakistan is committed to further strengthening bilateral relations with Afghanistan in all areas, including trade, and to realize Afghanistan’s transit trade within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Agreement. Although Pakistan and India are at loggerheads over the Kashmir issue, this does not affect Pakistan’s efforts to promote cooperation in South Asia, maintain the tone of cooperation, persist in opening up to the outside world, and deepen mutual benefit and win-win results, thus injecting more stability into the complex and changing South Asian region. It will also enhance understanding through strengthening dialogue, achieve mutual benefit and win-win results through deepening cooperation, and jointly contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability, development and prosperity in South Asia. On the contrary, India held high the banner of nationalism. After setting off a wave of boycotting Chinese goods in China through public opinion and announcing that it would restrict more than 50 APP, from China to conduct the highest customs inspection of all containers from China, India said again at the beginning of this month that it would withdraw from the RCEP Asia-Pacific Organization, expressing India’s attitude that it would not cooperate with China. At the same time, India, caught in the quagmire of the novel coronavirus epidemic, is not only unable to help neighboring countries or regions cope with the novel coronavirus epidemic, but is caught in border disputes with Pakistan, Nepal, China and other neighboring countries, bringing regional cooperation around it to the brink of stagnation or even retrogression. This decision, which goes against the trend of globalization, is clearly also a form of self-inflicted retaliation.
Globalization is the inevitable trend of human development in the future, and globalization will eventually overcome the forces of anti-globalization. The outbreak of novel coronavirus’s epidemic has not only brought many uncertain factors to globalization, but also hindered regional cooperation. Although the novel coronavirus epidemic accelerates the pace of change in the global economic order, the movement of people and goods is restricted in order to stop the spread of the virus. However, some countries still adhere to the attitude of opening up to the outside world, actively promote globalization, promote international cooperation and achieve win-win results. But the novel coronavirus epidemic has also led to the rise of nationalism in some countries and the increasing strength of anti-globalization, and they have taken unilateral actions to safeguard their own “self-interests” by harming the “justice” of the international community. India lost its way in the shadow of novel coronavirus’s epidemic. On the one hand, if we want to play a leading role in the global economic recovery and promote global interests and prosperity, we not only call on foreign investors to invest in India and make use of foreign funds and the technology and management experience they bring, so as to help India sustain its rapid development and “build” one of the most open economies in the world. And take advantage of the novel coronavirus epidemic to step up the layout of the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, in an attempt to enhance the international influence and voice in the post-novel coronavirus epidemic period.
On the other hand, they consciously stimulate nationalism, hold high the banner of nationalism, hold public opinion, and influence India’s political and military diplomacy. In the face of the upsurge of nationalism in the country, the opposition Congress party has blamed Modi and the domestic economy is in decline. In order to shift the domestic focus and maintain the rule of the Modi government. Not by adhering to the principle of more open cooperation: promoting international health cooperation and building an international epidemic prevention system; strengthening regional economic cooperation to tide over the economic downturn together; enhancing political mutual trust and strengthening the foundation of regional cooperation to become an iron and steel fighter for maintaining globalization. On the contrary, they do not hesitate to sacrifice the interests of neighboring countries and be willing to be the perverse ally of the United States against globalization. In particular, through the purchase of large quantities of military weapons in exchange for the support of the great powers. As a result, other big countries made a lot of money, making India’s already weak economy even worse, putting it in a dilemma. In response, the Indian Minister of Transportation issued a warning: he is the only one who is injured in hindering customs clearance.
In fact, it is in India’s national interest to strengthen regional cooperation and promote globalization. First of all, we can better deal with the current COVID-19 epidemic, reduce the pressure on India as a regional power, and maintain regional security and cooperation; second, take this opportunity to promote the foreign policy of “giving priority to neighboring countries” and restart the mechanism of regional integration in South Asia. Strengthen regional influence and give full play to regional leadership. Thirdly, the policy of isolating Pakistan and developing a regional mechanism that excludes Pakistan is doomed to failure, and the only way out is to absorb Pakistan into the framework of regional cooperation; finally, to realize the transformation of India from the hegemonic status of South Asia to the builder of regional cooperation, and change the traditional perception of India by small countries in South Asia.
At present, the COVID-19 epidemic is still spreading around the world, seriously threatening the lives, health and safety of people in various countries. Only under the guidance of the consciousness of “community with a shared future for mankind”, can globalization achieve tangible results through strategic cooperation and joint action. As far as the future of globalization is concerned, whether the international community can actively cooperate to win the fight against the epidemic will have a far-reaching impact on it. Only by starting with South Asian regional cooperation and restarting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, India will first reach cooperation on the rules of economic and trade exchanges, dispute settlement mechanism, and open source of technology, and promote cooperation in such areas as tariff reduction and the construction of free trade zones. Only by paying attention to the interests of other countries in the region and eliminating difficulties, can regional cooperation be further deepened in order to show vitality and bright prospects.

Huang Dekai, Luo Shenghong, Both Scholars in the Sichuan Police College; Gan Luting, Ph.D. Scholar of Delhi University

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