19 May 2024
India built a highway to rival China's Silk Road 3

India built a highway to rival China's Silk Road 3

New Delhi and Beijing are entering a new phase in their competition for economic power and strategic influence in the region.

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved $256 million to upgrade part of a remote border road last month, almost no one cared.

In just the past 2 years, India has approved contracts worth 4.7 billion USD to develop border roads, government data shows.

The `Belt and Road` initiative was first launched by China in 2013. This is a project built on the idea of reviving the Silk Road that once connected China with Central Asia, Europe and beyond.

India is pouring money into the northeast routes.

This project including roads, railways and trade routes is worrying many of China’s opponents, such as India, Russia, the US and Japan.

India built a highway to rival China's Silk Road

China’s One Belt, One Road ambition

Therefore, when China promotes the North-South economic corridor under the `Belt and Road` initiative, India also aims to build its own route with its Eastern neighbors, he said.

Under the Government’s `Act East` policy, India is investing in roads and railways on its northeastern border, bordering Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar.

However, the India-Myanmar-Thailand expressway plan is not new.

New Delhi now plans to expand the Myanmar-Thailand route to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

This route will be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through the South Asia Subregion Economic Cooperation program.

In May, India did not participate in the Belt and Road Conference organized by China.

The Chinese government has always affirmed that the Belt and Road policy will enhance regional connectivity and will bring economic benefits to neighboring countries.

Roads, bridges and railways remain India’s weak points in the northeastern states.

Mr. Modi is accelerating infrastructure projects that have stalled for decades.

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