BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE (BRI) (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     11th September 2023        
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Context: Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni recently outlined Italy's plan to pull out of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the G20 summit.

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

  • Proposed: In 2013 to improve connectivity and cooperation on a transcontinental scale.
  • Purpose: Of restoring the ancient Silk Route (land-based infrastructure connection) that connected Asia and Europe.

o 21st Century Maritime Silk Road: Emphasizes maritime routes connecting China with Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, and Europe.

  • Involves: Building a big network of roadways, railways, maritime ports, power grids, oil and gas pipelines, and associated infrastructure projects.

Criticism and Concerns:

  • Debt Burden: Some countries have expressed concern about potential debt burdens resulting from BRI projects.
  • Environmental Impact: Environmental sustainability and social impacts have raised concerns in certain areas.
  • Geopolitical Considerations: The initiative has been criticized for potential geopolitical implications and concerns about China's influence in participating countries. Ex: BRI’s project CPEC (China-Pakistan economic corridor) is against India’s territorial sovereignty.
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