Monday 20 July 2015

China’s One Belt-One Road Initiative | Silk Road Economic Belt, Maritime Silk Road (MSR)

Why in news?
China has acknowledged that the drone that had been downed by the Pakistani military was of Chinese origin, effectively refuting claims by Islamabad that it had shot down an Indian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) across the Line of Control (LoC).
China’s assertion could signal - that it wants India-Pakistan relations to improve - mainly for it's Silk Road Economic Belt, Maritime Silk Road (MSR) initiatives to succeed. 

India-Pakistan angle:

  • Concerned about the success of its Belt and Road initiative, China is subtly injecting itself in easing India-Pakistan tensions within the multilateral framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The text at SCO Ufa meet said:
    •  “With the accession of India and Pakistan — the former being the world’s ninth largest economy, while the latter sits on the crossroads of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the China-proposed trade and infrastructure network – the SCO could play a more substantial economic role”
  • China’s interest in India and Pakistan has increased since adopting its New Maritime Silk Road strategy and that could be behind its acquiescence to their joining the SCO.
About the One belt-one road initiative:
  •  Silk Road Economic Belt - As part of its Belt initiative, China is working with Pakistan to construct a Sino-Pakistan Economic Corridor across the Karakoram ranges into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and connecting with the Arabian Sea at GwadarComprised of a land-based Economic Belt that will snake through Central and West Asia 
  • Maritime Silk Road, which traces its genealogy to the ancient southern silk route, essentially provides a catchy name to China’s 21st century foray into the waters of the Indian Ocean, building ports and staging points in key stations along the way, including Sri Lanka, the Maldives, northern Kenya, and Gwadar in Pakistan.

    Source: CNBC
    India's Projects:
¤Some say it is competition to China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSR)
¤Reestablish ties with ancient trade partners and reestablish ‘Indian Ocean World’
¤It has both cultural and strategic dimensions
¤We can think of developing A&N as security and trade zone
¤China is that it is ready to join it so that there can be ‘Common Benefits’

Spice Route
¨The Spice Route refers to revival of old links between 31 countries in Asia and Europe with India, particularly spice-rich Kerala

Cotton Route:
India proposes to counter China's maritime ambitions with a 'Cotton Route' to help forge economic and strategic partnerships with other countries by reviving ancient Indian Ocean pathways through which the fabric was exported to both the east and west.
The 'Cotton Route,' still in the nascent stages, will reach out farther and wider, official sources hinted. It is aimed at increasing India's economic cooperation and strategic partnerships with countries in the Indian Ocean region. Sources said India's first cotton exports date back to the 1st century CE. There were regular supplies of large quantities of cloth of ordinary quality from Tagara (Ter in Maharashtra).

    [Ref: The Hindu, Indian Express]


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