In the 20th century, after the WWII, there came in power two hegemonic blocs with strong military and economy and fought a “Cold War”, and that ended with the fragmentation of USSR into 15 Republic in 1991. The cold war continued for straight 26 years and changed the whole world order leaving the veil of supremacy for USSR and continued to simmer ascendancy for the USA. Next possible cold war could possibly take place between the USA and China. Belt and Road initiative flagship is a clear manifestation of forming a hegemonic power alliance over different continents that include Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Iran, a country that has been held under the shackles of sanctions and trade cuts, is a 5th largest natural gas producer. These leading oil reservoirs were 12.5% in October 2019 before sanctions now reclined at 7.5% due to choking USA sanctions. The USA deteriorates the whole MENA region. It is not wrong to put on a statement that the USA has exploited the Middle East, some parts of Asia. There are USA troops in every part of the Middle East whether it is Syria, Yemen or Oman etc. The episodic fires and blasts in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq is another myth. On the other hand, Western analysts often criticize China’s foreign policy and moniker it as “Debt Diplomacy”. Analysts predict that China plays a “Go Game” and with Iran’s strong anti-American sentiment, vast hydrocarbon reservoirs and a large military, Iran is a Go-Board for China.
Debt Diplomacy is somehow or other real for many morosis Asian states. Pakistan owes $10 Billion that has been spent over Gwadar, and the port is at Chinese lease till 2059. Sri Lanka’s port Hambantota in under Chinese control for 99 years, Maldives owe $1.5 Billion to China that is 33% of their annual GDP. Many countries are struggling to pay back the Chinese debt like Laos, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Mongolia, and you name it. Debt diplomacy of China can be discerned in Chabahar project as well, where China is investing $400 Billion in Banking, Telecommunication, Transportation, Infrastructure, and Free Trade Zones and that could offer a new life to Iran’s sanction-choked economy.
The predatory investment package of $400 Billion could viably boost Iran’s dead roots and left-out narrative. The inauguration of 628 KM long Chabahar-Zahedan line which will further extend to Zaranj in Afghanistan and this triangular alliance of power, development and Free trade will diminish the strategic hegemony of India in the region. The Chabahar project will pave the way for China into the Middle-East, Central Asia that will result in a suave char of China in the area. Considering a bigger picture, this project along with the BRI flagship is a lucid manifestation for “Asian Hegemony” in future, and China would lead the whole of Asia.