CSIP: PRELIMS BOOSTER SERIES-145 International Relations


The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013. It aims to improve connectivity and cooperation on a transcontinental scale by building infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, ports, and power plants.

The BRI is divided into two main components: the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The Silk Road Economic Belt is a land-based route that connects China with Central Asia, Russia, and Europe. It includes projects such as the New Eurasia Land Bridge, which is a railway line that connects China to Europe, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a network of infrastructure projects that connect China to Pakistan.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is a sea-based route that connects China with Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. It includes projects such as the Port of Gwadar in Pakistan, which is a deepsea port that is being developed by China, and the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka, which is another key port in the BRI.

Advantages of the BRI
• Increased trade and investment
• Improved infrastructure
• Reduced poverty

Disadvantages of the BRI
• Environmental impact
• Debt traps
• Geopolitical interests

Why India has not joined?
• India sees the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship BRI project, as infringing on its sovereignty.
• China is building roads and infrastructure in the disputed territory of Gilgit-Baltistan, which India claims.
• The BRI could hamper India’s strategic interests in the South Asian region and serve Beijing’s strategic ambition to encircle India.
• The CPEC could aid Pakistan’s legitimacy in the Kashmir dispute.
• China’s increasing footprints in the South Asian region are detrimental to India’s strategic hold.

Overall, the Belt and Road Initiative is a complex and ambitious project with both potential benefits and risks. It is important to weigh the potential benefits and risks carefully before deciding whether or not to participate in the BRI.