Bri has Entered a New Era of Transparency
27, Apr 2019
Prelims level : International Mains level : GS-II Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations
Why in News?
- China announced that the financial model for funding projects under its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) had been revamped, countering criticism that its mega-connectivity undertaking was opening “debt traps” for enhancing its geopolitical influence.
- President Xi Jinping said in his keynote address at the second Belt and Road Forum (BRF) highlighted the subtext of rivalry with the United States in setting the global agenda.
- In the presence of 37 country heads, chief of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, as well as representatives of scores of nations, he docked the BRI with a new phase of globalisation, anchored by China and its India has decided to skip the BRF in opposition to the BRI’s China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). New Delhi feels it is an infringement of its sovereignty.
Will work with others’
- Xi stressed that China “will work with others” to write new rules of international trade within the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). “ China is an active supporter and participant of the WTO and will work with others to develop international economic and trade rules of higher standard.”
- China has been accused that under the banner of the BRI, it has deliberately funded unsustainable projects, which could be leveraged for extending Beijing’s political influence in geopolitically sensitive countries such as Sri Lanka and Maldives, which skirt important shipping lanes of the Indian
Zero tolerance for corruption’
- Xi said: “In pursuing Belt and Road cooperation, everything should be done in a transparent way. We should have zero tolerance for corruption”.
- Xi stressed that the BRI projects would encourage participation by multilateral and national financial institutions and encourage joint ventures in third countries. They would seek the involvement of “multiple stake holders”, for projects pursuing a “people centered” approach focused on “job creation” and countering poverty.
Promises greater market access to foreign products
- With China embroiled in a “trade war” with the S. and accused of intellectual property theft, the Chinese leader pledged that his country would provide greater market access to foreign products, and guarantee intellectual property rights of foreign and Chinese companies.
What is “One Belt, One Road” or OBOR?
- One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is China’s much-touted foreign and economic policy. It is a development strategy to connect China with Central Asia, Europe, and Indo-Pacific littoral countries. This policy has two components:
- Belt– The “One Belt” refers to the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt”. Here Beijing aims to connect the country’s underdeveloped hinterland to Europe through Central
- Road – The “One Road” references the ocean-going “Maritime Silk Road”. It is to connect the fast-growing South East Asian region to China’s southern provinces through ports and railways. The plan is to connect the Pacific Ocean and the Indian This will connect Chinese coastline with SE Asia, South Asia, Gulf and East coast of Africa. China will build hard and soft maritime infrastructure. It will include custom co-ordination, the formation of SEZ, new ports, e-commerce, trade liberalisation and policy coordination
- The geographical stretch makes it comparable with Silk Road or Silk Route, an ancient network of trade routes connecting the East and West around 120 BCE to 1450s CE that is famous for the profitable silk (and horses) That is why it is also called as “New Silk Road” initiative.
- Italy has become the first G-7 country to formally join the BRI.
India’s position regarding One Belt One Road
- India is opposed to Chinese One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative since the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through the Indian territory. Indian government stated that the connectivity cannot undermine the sovereignty of other nations.