Situated at the heart of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is grappling with the world’s two superpowers: China and the US. The keen interest of the two countries has been a source of competition between them and a source of worry for Sri Lanka, which is struggling with its own economic woes. Sri Lanka was able to navigate the Cold War by taking a stance of neutrality and non-alignment. When a second economic Cold War is building up globally, it is attractive and convenient to adopt similar policies. However, this recent rivalry may be novel in nature, and Sri Lanka’s continued economic woes, mean that the country will be forced to choose between the two, the US or China.
Multiple measures by the UN, ICRC, and other international organizations have taken to mitigate the African crises. As China indubitably seems to be a potential power juxtapose to the western presence in the region, westerners have done very little to manage the crises. Beijing must take the lead, collaborate with domestic armed groups, encourage dialogue and conflict management mechanisms to the parties, at least propose them, as a mediator, to minimize the instability factors and encourage them to collective growth. Chinese economic diplomacy can be used to compel African policymakers to conflict resolution. Other conflicting parties must be taken on board to develop confidence-building, and some serious interest must be shown in African affairs.
The success of CPEC lies in unity and clarity about the project. It is for this reason that the JCM is established. JCM brings clarity and transparency to CPEC but highlights loopholes in internal politics and Pakistan’s national unity. It is high time that Pakistan puts in the effort to get its house in order.
An informative session with Dr. Sten Widmalm, Professor of Political Science in the Department of Government at Uppsala University, Sweden