Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/nkzdgs

INDIA’S ENGAGEMENTS IN NORTH AFRICA: CAN IT MATCH CHINESE INVOLVEMENT IN THE REGION?

8 November 2021

Summary

One of the most important aspects of this goal is the support of North African and other African nations for its candidacy as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), an ambition it has long harboured.12 This also stems from India’s desire to counter Chinese influence globally and in Africa specifically due to the latter’s immense strength in the Security Council. [...] It was in the 1990s that India’s foreign policy took another turn.32 The fall of the Soviet Union, one of India’s most significant trade partners,33 along with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait led to a Balance of Payment (BoP) deficit in India pushing it to engage in intense economic and foreign policy reforms.34 Thus, India now moved closer to the US and its allies, including nations like Egypt, whil. [...] In Morocco and Tunisia, where engagement is also high, even Chinese tourists have flocked, which has also led to the emergence of Chinese cultural products such as restaurants and other entertainment centres.78 North Africa’s attraction for China lies in it being at the cusp of the Mediterranean, the African continent, the European Union, and the US. [...] In contrast, India does not have the same influence due to its lack of permanency at the UNSC, its inability to spend as much in the region and the time it takes for it to carry out its construction activities in comparison. [...] Another important factor that works in India’s favour in comparison to China is its own burgeoning relations with nations in Europe and the US over the last few decades.100 This is complimented by the fact that it is often seen as an ally and countervailing factor against Chinese domination in Asia101 providing it with currency and potential to work jointly with the Western powers in North Africa.

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