China mulls extending Nepal rail connectivity to India: A Chabahar impact?

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After having expanded its influence in Nepal with infrastructure like road and rail network through Tibet, China is now thinking of stretching the railway connectivity to Bihar to better the communication with India and South, the state-run Chinese media said on Tuesday.

A cross-border rail road link to Rasuwagadhi area in Nepal has already been discussed between the two countries, said a PTI report. [Chabahar versus Gwadar: Geopolitics of ports]

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"The railroad connection to China not only is important for Nepal and Nepalese people's future development, but also has the capacity to build connectivity with the whole of South Asia. The government of Nepal has the chance to make history," an article in Global Times said, adding that China's railroad is expected to reach Nepal's border by 2020.

For Bihar, this link will be more helpful than the one via Kolkata as it will save time and cost.

China also said on Monday that it will speed up negotiations on the boundary issue. [President Pranab Mukherjee reaches China]

Are the Chinese taking a step back in the wake of India's game-changing pact with Iran on the Chabahar Port, which will enable the latter to avoid the China-Pakistan arc to get closer to Iran, Afghanistan and beyond in central Asia? [India, Iran ink Chabahar, 11 other pacts]

China focusing on cooperation with India since it knows conflict isn't the only option against it today

Beijing knows fully well that under Modi, New Delhi has shown more intent in its foreign policy. The two sides, more than enemies, have engaged in a strong competition to make strategic and economic gains and with the Americans showing more support for Modi than either Pakistan or China, Beijing has the extra responsibility to remain close to New Delhi in matters of economic cooperation.

Any step towards a conflict with India could tilt the balance of the power game in South Asia against China any moment.

International politics is about mind game and the Chinese know that it requries cooperation from India as an emerging economy and can not really depend on weak states like Pakistan when it comes to dealing with a US-India axis.

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