Skip to content

China’s Belt Road Initiative

Sandeep Jain writes: The BRI (Belt Road Initiative) by China has captured the imagination of the world intelligentsia. The Chinese media seems to be talking about nothing else. Any event related to China is now being linked to BRI.

Sandeep Jain Writes: The BRI (Belt Road Initiative) by China has captured the imagination of the world intelligentsia. The Chinese media seems to be talking about nothing else. Any event related to China is now being linked to BRI. At present BRI document is a lengthy document mentioning aspects such as cooperation, trust, opening up etc. The document though is silent on what exactly the other countries are supposed to do. The role of Chinese provinces has also been enunciated. China has also backed up the document with a promise of large sums of money for infrastructure development. Debates are currently on with respect to the implications of this policy pronouncement by China. In India especially the debate is weather to participate or to negate this development. Is BRI an action plan with respect to increasing the linkages of China with the rest of the world, is it to circumvent the Malacca straits or is it espousal of an ideology re-emphasizing China’s rightful place as the middle kingdom. Are there going to be any security linkages? I personally feel BRI is none of the above.

China has been pursuing its economic and security objectives even in the absence of a vision document like BRI. This includes developing its industrial base, generating export surpluses, developing relations with CAR, Middle East states, String of pearls and so on. Places like Africa though not mentioned in BRI have also been on the Chinese strategic horizon for a long time. The large monetary surpluses have enabled China to invest in other countries thereby giving it leverage. China has also been searching for alternatives for its energy security to fuel its ever expanding economy. Therefor nothing new is likely to emerge from BRI. The national interests of China have not undergone any significant changes. BRI is simply a bold espousal of Chinese ideology to the world, articulated by its new leader. It’s stating that the old silk route both land as well as the maritime silk route is now its area of influence and no more the area of interest alone. The Chinese economic strength has now emboldened it to promulgate such ideological documents. BRI is also a propaganda document for the consumption of its internal population. The slowing economy, rising aspirations and awareness, necessitated that the new Chinese leadership brings hope for its younger generation. BRI holds the promise of better opportunities along with a subdued message of renewed nationalism.  India must therefore continue to pursue its national goals without worrying about joining BRI or otherwise. The recent foreign policy initiatives by our national leadership are a step in the correct direction.

1201 Total Views 1 Views Today