China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Hello Doston!!

Today’s article is concerned with a Geo-Political topic  which is currently a buzz in world of diplomacy. Its a bit lengthy as compared  to my general write ups, but the gravity of the subject prompted me to write long. Hope you would enjoy reading.

In past quarter century, if one thing which has  caught the imagination of the world, it would surely be the phenomenal rise of China. For almost 30 years double digit growth, China’s incremental jump in the economic dimension has reshaped the world order and now we are moving towards a multi-polar world, where America or Russia is not the sole dominant power.

With the rise of China comes its desire to influence the world order. There are several tools to influence it. Such as by showing technological advancement, increasing the influence on other countries, by enhancing the infrastructural aspects, by increasing trade with other nations etc. So in 2013, its president came up with an ambitious project called One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, which China claims that it is one of the most ambitious project of 21st century and it is having potential to reshape the world.

Recently China has organized a summit called Belt and Road Initiative(BRI), in which high level participants from more than 120 countries arrived, including nearly 30 head of the states. India was a conspicuous absentee, even though China, on multiple occasions, requested India to be a participant of this initiative. Since we are witnessing a potential watershed event in the world history, hence I thought of bringing some details about it.

What is Belt and Road Initiative?

This initiative is brought to fore by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. From the inspiration of Old Silk Route, Belt and Road Initiative or One Belt One Road initiative is a connectivity project which aims to connect  mainland China to the parts of Asia, Europe and some parts of Africa as well. There are 60 countries through which this project will run. China is willing to finance these infrastructural project as a loan to the host nation. Once these areas will be connected, a whole new wave of globalization can emerge. It will have a positive impact on trade, commerce, integration of economy, cultural connectivity, integration of the least connected area, increasing the living standards of millions etc.

BRI
Red Line Indicates the Land Connectivity, where as Blue Line Indicates Maritime connectivity. Image Credit: Internet

 

This initiative is having two limbs; one is connecting the Land Area through rail and road and the other is maritime connectivity by building ports and supplementary infrastructures.

Land connectivity scheme is known as Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime connectivity project is known as 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Plausible intentions of China Behind this project:

  1. By implementing this, China will emerge as a dominant player in the world order as this project will cover the 63% of the world population, 30% of the current world GDP, and 35% of the trade happens in these area.
  2. China has vast cash reserve in Renminbi (Chinese currency) which is equivalent to US $ 21 trillion approx twice its GDP. So by financing these infrastructural projects these cash deposits, which is presently lying ideal, can bring revenues through interests. It will also help in internationalization of its currency.
  3. China is having strategic leverage over manufacturing sector, so by integrating the Eurasian regions it will enhance its market where it can sell its product.
  4. It can win few allies, which it lacks as compare to its rival US by financing infrastructure.
  5. It will have a strategic and military advantage as compare to US, which also sees these regions very significant in terms of Geo Politics.
  6. It will help China to bring its least developed Western Provinces in direct contact with the other nations through infrastructure, which in turn, will benefit its balanced regional growth.

India did not take part in this initiative, which is criticized by many both at home and in China. They argue, India which is struggling in infrastructures should have embraced Chinese proposal as it will help via financing. By remaining out India is secluding itself from the new world order which is emerging. It will have a deleterious impact in the  to its economy in long term. The Indian subcontinent which is least integrated can get an impetus from the Chinese sponsored scheme and will be win-win situation for all.

However, Indian government firmly articulated its reservations to this project.

India’s concerns:

  • Infringing Sovereignty: One part of the project, China Pakistan Economic Corridor, passes through Gilgit Baltistan, which lies in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, amd claimed by India. Since it is a disputed region and China did not had a deliberations with India with this respect, India thinks it as a infringement on its sovereignty.
  • Since the details of the project are not in the public domain, India is skeptic about it.
  • India does not see it as a mere economic initiative, as nearly 30,000 security personnel will be deployed to protect the infrastructure. Hence it sees a threat to its security.
  • India sees the high interest rates to finance the project as a Chinese “web trap”.
  • Along with this the assessment of project cost is not transparent, in the absence of transparency India is unwilling to be a part of this project.
  • China recently has behaved as an obstructionists in two cases which was concerned with India one in NSG and other in declaring Jash-e-Mohamed leader Mashod Azhar as a terrorists. So India gave the Chinese the taste of its own medicine. And gave a strong signal that India is not going to be an easy ride if its concerned is ignored.

Conclusion: In my view India rightly opted out from the Belt and Road Initiative as infringement upon sovereignty is a very serious concern. Along with this the benefit which China tries to put is not as clear as of the investment. But India should work in the field of regional connectivity firstly by focusing on its internal infrastructure and then after the infrastructure of the South East region.

 

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My few questions to You

Hello Every One!!!

Most of the time, I choose to write on the topics in my blog which are generally figments of my imagination. However I try to deal in such a way that everyone can connect it with real life be it my poems, articles or narrations.

Today my topic is not the product of imagination, rather a real, unpleasant situation which our nation is currently facing. We all know that sovereignty of a country is of paramount importance and people of the country can go to any extent to preserve it, if they have any nationalist fervor residing in them.

But there is a part of state in India whose majority of citizens belonging from a particular community (I am not shying away from the reality and accepting it unlike main stream media) posses a secessionist tendency and in recent days it is full on display. Yes Sir/Ma’am, I am talking about a special state of India, Jammu and Kashmir.

Every day we hear news that stones are pelted on our soldiers, schools are burnt, weapons are snatched from our Jawans, banks are looted, government property is being destroyed, killing of terrorist is being celebrated as martyrdom, flags of Pakistan and ISIS is waved, militants are protected and patronized by the locals and so on and so forth.

army1
Credit: Internet, I am ashamed to use it

Recently a video has surfaced in social media, in which one of our soldier was kicked and slapped by some local resident of Kashmir valley, when he was returning from his duty of election. He had a rifle in his hand, yet he remained silent and faced the onslaught.

Any nationalist’s heart would melt to see the treatment with their Army, and that too by their own citizen. Our Soldiers are our pride. They protect us from any form of external aggression, armed rebellion or even in the natural calamities. They live, sometime, in inhuman conditions so that we can live with peace, prosperity and enjoy this human life. But if our protectors will be treated like this, then just think what negative consequences will be on their morale. Soldiers live with pride and respect and die with it. Pride is their everything. They can survive any catastrophe of life, but they can’t swallow their disrespect.

JandK
Credit: Internet

One more video recently surfaced, when a local is seen tied up with the bonnet of a Jeep of a military convoy. It was perceived that army personal has tied him there because it will prevent the locals (more than 500 in numbers) to pelt the stones at them. Then came the liberal media, petty politicians and the human right group and termed this incident as an outrageous and inhuman. They criticized the army for their act and asked to form a commission to enquire about the whole incident.

kashmir
Stone Pelter, Image Credit: Internet

My fellow bloggers, I am having some questions for you and after that I will end up my writing.

  1. What is your reaction when you will see that one part of India is seceded to Pakistan, as some local from Kashmir wants, will you still keep blogging the same way as you are doing now, or you will also feel the pain and agony?
  2. Who are these secessionist? How they should be dealt?
  3. Are our soldiers not Human? There are no Human rights for them!  Anyone can pelt stone at them! 
  4. Have you hit by a single stone pelted at you, If not, can you imagine the pain that a irregular granite pebble can inflict?
  5. What will happen when our soldiers will refuse to stand by our nation because of their ill-treatment?
  6. What will be your emotional balance, when you are humiliated by your boss in the office or teachers in the school? Can you compare the mistreatment of our soldier by their fellow citizens?
  7. Will not you raise your voice to support our armed force?
  8. Will you be a mute spectator saying that no one is in army from my family?
  9. Are you sure that this story of Kashmir will not be replicated in any part of the nation?
  10. How do you feel when you see the flag of Pakistan is waved in front of you and challenges you to see it over and over again.
  11. What will happen to our future generation, or are we happy with the philosophy that “live in present”?
  12. Isn’t  our silence is  a sign of our weakness?

“Whenever one person stands up and says, “Wait a minute, this is wrong,” it helps other people do the same.” —-Gloria Steinem

 

Enjoy the weekend, for the soldiers of the Indian national Armed force, there is no such legacy.

Vande Matram!!!!