Home Contact Us  
   

Pakistan - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#5204, 14 December 2016
 
China's Belt and Road Initiative: Should India be Concerned?
Anand Kumar
Associate Fellow, Institute for Defense Studies & Analyses (IDSA)
 

The Belt and Road Initiative, also known as the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project, launched by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 is one of the most ambitious projects of recent times. This project, which has both overland and maritime components, intends to link Asia with Europe and Africa. While China claims that this project will further its development goals, India believes that it has a strong political and strategic objective. 

In South Asia, the OBOR has two components. The first one is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passes through Pakistan, connecting Kashgar in western China with the Gwadar Port in the Balochistan province. China considers this section as the first chapter of the OBOR. Recently, this section has been made operational with the inauguration of Gwadar port. 

The second part of this initiative in South Asia is the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor that intends to connect Bangladesh and Myanmar with India. The BCIM also has a maritime component, which includes port infrastructure in Sri Lanka, among other places. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have extended their support to the Belt and Road Initiative. 

This part of the OBOR is only partly functional. Ports in Sri Lanka are operational, but there is no similar progress in the BCIM corridor. To give momentum to this section Chinese President Xi Jinping recently visited Bangladesh, during which China reportedly gave Bangladesh a credit line worth US$24 billion. This is the highest credit line Bangladesh has received from any foreign country. Bangladesh and Chinese firms also signed trade and investment deals worth US$13.6 billion.

China has done well to link the objectives of the OBOR with the developmental plans of the participating countries. It has managed to dovetail the infrastructure deficit in these countries with the objective of OBOR to create infrastructure that can boost trade and connectivity. This also enables the use of the surplus capacities of the Chinese companies. 

The growing economic relationship between China and Bangladesh has caused concern in India. This development, however, may not necessarily be bad for India. A reduction of poverty in Bangladesh through greater Chinese engagement would be in India’s interest. It will have a two pronged impact. First, it will reduce the influx of illegal Bangladeshi migrants into India. This has been a major problem for India and latest Indian government estimates claim that nearly twenty million Bangladeshis are living illegally in India. Second, the growing economic prosperity of the Bangladeshis might reduce the increasing fundamentalism in the country. OBOR’s intended positive impact on Bangladesh would consequently enhance India’s security as well. 

At present, both India and China are important for Bangladesh. It draws important political and diplomatic support from India when it comes under pressure from the West over its democracy and human rights records, and look to China to boost its economic growth. 

However, the same conclusion cannot be drawn about the CPEC. This concern is for two reasons. First, CPEC passes through Gilgit-Baltistan, a disputed region that India continues to claim as part of its territory. Second, India is also concerned because of the hostile nature of the Pakistani state. While China might suggest that Gwadar is a commercial project, in the past Pakistanis have shown their willingness to convert it into a naval base and use it for activities that are inimical to India. 

The OBOR is actually designed to meet the requirements of the growing Chinese economy, the second largest in the world. In the process, it somewhat strategically constrains not only India but many other countries as well. The Chinese economic engagement in Bangladesh does not arouse much concern in India because Bangladesh has an India-friendly government. It requires both India and China to push forward the country’s interests. It is CPEC that is viewed as a much bigger challenge by Indian policymakers. This has not allowed any amicable solution to be reached on the Gilgit-Baltistan area. In fact, to draw maximum benefit from any Chinese economic initiative Pakistan too needs peace and stability in South Asia. This can only happen if economic development and not hostility towards India comes on the agenda of the Pakistani state. 

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 
Related Articles
Harry Roberts,
"Countering China: India's Uncertain Response," 22 November 2016
Tapan Bharadwaj,
"China-Iran: Common Grounds for Cooperation," 30 March 2016

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Changing Complexion of Terror Attacks in India

Landmine Treaty and Bangladesh

Growing Maturity in India's Look East Policy

Indo-Myanmar Economic Relations and Northeast Insurgency

Resurfacing of Rohingya Refugees

Al Qaeda and Bangladesh

Islamists Pose as Saviour as Rule of Law Vanishes in Bangladesh

Look East Policy of Bangladesh

BIMST-EC: Putting Free Trade in South Asia on a Strong Footing

Monetary Union in South Asia

Government Yields to Anti-Ahmadiya Alliance in Bangladesh

Bhutan?s Offensive against the Terrorists

Pakistan Bangladesh Free Trade Agreement

War over Water

Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Free Trade Agreement

New Sanctuary for Terror

Operation Spider Web in Bangladesh

Illegal Immigration in India’s East: West Shows the Way

Bogra Ammo Haul and Cross-Border Links of Northeast Terrorists

Peacekeeping in Iraq: India Chooses to play safe

Indo-Bangladesh Trade Ties: Free Trade vs. Duty-free Access

Bangladesh: Islamists come out in the open

Bhutan?s Dilemma of Democracy

Discord in the Chittagong Hill Tracts

Arresting the Messenger

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.