DMPQ:What is Belt and road initiative? Why India declined for the second time to participate in the forum?

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious effort to improve regional cooperation and connectivity on a trans-continental scale. The initiative aims to strengthen infrastructure, trade, and investment links between China and some 65 other countries that account collectively for over 30 percent of global GDP, 62 percent of population, and 75 percent of known energy reserves. The BRI consists primarily of the  Silk Road Economic Belt, linking China to Central and South Asia and onward to Europe, and the New Maritime Silk Road, linking China to the nations of South East Asia, the Gulf Countries, North Africa, and on to Europe. Six other economic corridors have been identified to link other countries to the Belt and the Road. The scope of the initiative is still taking shape—more recently the initiative has been interpreted to be open to all countries as well as international and regional organizations.

 

Concerns for India:

  1. The proposed corridor pass through disputed area in Pak occupied Kashmir. China Pakistan economic corridor passes through Gilgit Baltistan region which is a sovereignty issue for India.
  2. China may clandestinely in the name of infrastructure safeguards might deploy military establishment.
  3. Maritime silk route seems trade route but there are concerns that China might take over strategic position. Indian ocean is a important from strategic and economic perspective.
  4. China and Pakistan proximity.
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