China’s Belt & Road Initiative push Intensifies
China’s Belt & Road Initiative push Intensifies By Current Affairs Correspondent East Asia for Belt and Road News
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China’s big ticket geo-political and geo-economic Belt & Road Initiative has come roaring back just when it seemed down and out with the peaking of the Sino-US Trade War.
President Xi Jinping, during his Myanmar tour beginning Friday, will doubtlessly promise billions of dollars on scores of infrastructure projects in Myanmar, almost at par with investments made in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Xi’s Three Major Thrust Areas Will Be:
- The Kyaukphyu port and SEZ project on Rakhine coasts that connects to Yunnan by high-speed rail and a six-lane highway.
- New Yangon City.
- Projects on the China Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC).
Like Gwadar gives China an outlet to the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, Kyaukphyu gives the Dragon an outlet to Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.
“The Chinese are determined to seek the eastern and western outlets to the oceans and they will fund Myanmar as strongly as Pakistan and even reduce them to client states just to ensure they can bypass the Malacca chokepoint, through which much of foreign trade now happens. In the process, they will militarily outflank India,” says Vice Admiral Pradeep Chatterjee former Deputy Chief of Indian Navy.
He was the first to head India’s only tri-services integrated military formation, the Andaman & Nicobar command.
But it is not merely the CPEC and CMEC corridors, the key to China’s Indian Ocran access strategy that is attracting Dragon funding.
Chinese companies signed Belt & Road contracts worth nearly $128 billion in the first 11 months of 2019, according to China’s Commerce Ministry.
That marks a 41 per cent increase over the same period in 2018.
The contracts are mostly for construction and equipment by big Chinese companies using Chinese skilled labour and loans from Chinese banks, although the projects often create jobs for local labourers as well.