Mint Explainer: Why should India be happy with the outcome of China’s latest BRI forum?

 – Gudstory

Mint Explainer: Why should India be happy with the outcome of China’s latest BRI forum? – Gudstory

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Beijing hosted the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on October 18. The meeting, which was attended by leaders and officials from 23 countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America, came in the wake of trouble for China’s President Xi. Jinping’s major infrastructure initiative. peppermint Explains why the outcome of the meeting could be good news for India.

What is the Belt and Road Initiative?

It is a highly ambitious project that aims to build infrastructure and connectivity across Asia, Europe and Africa in an effort to rebuild 21st century versions of the terrestrial and maritime Silk Road. Many observers saw the project as an attempt by China to export its surplus capacity in manufacturing and other sectors to foreign countries, as well as to link its markets to China’s economy.

“China’s overall ambitions for the BRI are staggering. To date, 147 countries – accounting for two-thirds of the world’s population and 40% of global GDP – have signed on to the projects or have expressed interest in doing so,” says the Council on Foreign Relations, an American think tank. Tank has written.

The forum began in 2017 as a meeting of key leaders who have signed on to Beijing’s plan, and was intended to showcase the achievements of the BRI. The presence of high-level leaders also provided favorable prospects for China.

Has its popularity increased or decreased since then?

In 2017, about 27 world leaders visited Beijing for the first edition of the Forum. In 2019 this number was 37. However, only 23 world leaders participated in the third forum on 18 October.

What does this trend suggest?

Experts say the decline in attendance at the third forum points to the declining popularity of the BRI. High-profile failures, allegations of ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ and China’s increasingly negative international reputation may have deterred some leaders.

This is particularly true in Europe, where many Eastern European countries were once seen as enthusiastic participants in the BRI. G7 member Italy is also expected to leave the BRI. Hungary, an EU member state, participated in the summit. Other high profile attendees included Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

What can India learn from this?

For India, declining attendance at the BRI forum could be a positive sign that China’s major infrastructure initiative is faltering. This comes after the halt of several initiatives under BRI, especially the development of Gwadar port in Pakistan.

India has so far refused to participate in all three editions of the forum. It has also opposed major BRI projects such as the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) because it includes areas of Kashmir claimed by India.


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