BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE
WHY IN NEWS ?
- Recently Chinese President Xi Jinping will host more than a dozen world leaders in Beijing, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, for the third Belt and Road Forum, which will mark the 10 year anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
ABOUT BELT AND ROAD FORUM:
- The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (also known as the Belt and Road Forum or BRFIC) is an international political and economic forum of the Belt and Road Initiative.
- The forum will be a platform for working out action plans for implementation of the initiative in the areas of infrastructure, energy and resources, production capacity, trade and investment and identification of major projects.
It is also intended to be an opportunity for the signing of cooperation agreements with countries and international organizations in the following areas of :
- financial cooperation mechanism;
- cooperation platform for science,
- technology and environmental protection;
- enhanced exchanges
- training of talent and financing agreements for backing projects.
ABOUT BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE :
- The BRI is an ambitious plan to develop two new trade routes connecting China with the rest of the world.
- China views the BRI as vitally important in securing its borders on the Asian mainland.
- It has land borders with 15 nations, including unstable states such as Afghanistan and nations seeking new partnerships in opposition to the US, such as Russia.
Belt and Road investments are viewed as a way to facilitate China’s ‘periphery diplomacy’ – trade and infrastructure partnerships with the countries along this enormous land border.
- Other serious opponents to the initiative in Asia include India as a key partnership in the Belt and Road is between China and Pakistan, a nation China calls a ‘all-weather friend’.
- The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor runs close to the disputed Kashmir region, creating an alliance of two nuclear armed neighbours forging territorial links on India’s northern border.
- The Belt and Road is also seen as a crucial element in the Chinese government’s efforts to stimulate economies of the country’s central provinces, which historically lag behind richer coastal areas.
- The government uses the Belt and Road to encourage and support businesses in these central regions, allocating budget generously, and encouraging businesses to compete for Belt and Road contracts.
PROJECTS UNDER BRI:
There are many projects in the Belt and Road but two leading prestige projects stand out.
- The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor consists of bridges, railways, energy installations, a redeveloped highway, and expansion of the Pakistani port of Gwadar. It is considered the leading part of the Belt element.
- The China-Europe express railway is another prestige achievement credited to the Belt and Road Initiative as this cargo railway has slashed delivery time from China to Europe to 15 days.
SYLLABUS: PRELIMS,CURRENT AFFAIRS