The BRI : Analysis


Why BRI is not good?

  • The previous Chinese investments in the continent of Africa as well as in India’s neighbourhood in Sri Lanka and Myanmar have faced strong local backlash for several reasons
  • Many of the projects have proved economically unviable, thus impeding the ability of recipient countries to service the loans
  • debt to equity swap leaves them with the undesirable option of China owning strategic assets in their countries which can likely be used for military purposes
  • The tempting loans come with many riders and the recipient countries have to source much of their material from China
  • Often, a Chinese state-owned enterprise leads the project and large numbers of labourers, including low-skilled ones, are imported from China itself
  • All kinds of charges, ranging from environmental degradation to labour exploitation, have been levelled against Chinese companies


Initial Response of BRI:

  • Pakistan hesitant to accept the tariffs for power produced by projects under CPEC
  • The refinery built by a Chinese state-owned company in Kyrgyzstan has found it difficult to source crude oil
  • Political and social discontent in the Central Asian country is already growing
  • Entire national election campaigns were held on an anti-China plank in countries like Zambia and Sri Lanka
  • For many of the BRI projects, even the Chinese admit will end up bleeding money


Measures India can take

  • Infrastructure boost : A wait-and-watch strategy on the BRI does no harm for the moment but New Delhi should simultaneously step up its infrastructure building in India and the neighbourhood
  • Partnership with Japan : It should look to pool its resources with the Japanese Partnership for Quality Infrastructure (PQI). Even if India and Japan cannot match the scale and ambitions of BRI, they will gradually begin to attract partners which will likely be alienated as the true costs and motives of Chinese investments begin to show


Wuhan Spirit:

  • PM Modi and Chinese President met in Wuhan in April 2018.
  • Wuhan Summit is projected as a major shift in India-China relations.
  • Both leaders has met in Qingdao, and in Johannesburg in South Africa after Wuhan.




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