Indo-China Bilateral Ties: Regional Cooperation & Rise of Asian Century

Indo-China Bilateral Ties: Regional Cooperation & Rise of Asian Century

Question : India and China can jointly work for the rise of the Asian century and cooperation in the region. Elaborate keeping the benefits of the BCIM project in mind.

- India and China can work together to promote regional cooperation projects which interconnect neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh as well.

- From a decline in colonial times to its present rise, geopolitical, geoeconomics and geocultural factors have played a major role in the fall and rise of Asia

- 20th century was marked by the liberation of Asian from colonial rule

- The 21st century has seen the rise of Asia

- Trade, transport and technology have revitalised old ties

- This is envisaged through the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

- India has also evolved regional cooperation initiatives like Mausam and the Spice Route within the Indian ocean

- However, a partnership between the two most populous and strong nations in the world can yield rich dividends for the nation and the region

- Early implementation of the BCIM project(Bangladesh China India Myanmar)Corridor envisages road, railway, port, trade and communication connectivity from Kolkata to Kunming

- BCIM is one of the richest regions in the world and home to 500 million persons but it needs to be integrated socially and economically

Benefits from BCIM

- India will benefit from BCIM conceptualised over a decade ago

- Consider Agartala which is 1650 kilometres from Kolkata when one travels through the Chicken’s Neck, a narrow strip 23 km wide in West Bengal. Distance comes down to 350 km if the journey is through Bangladesh

- Also, India’s NE states have no access to sea though Sabroom, the southernmost border town in Tripura is only 72 km from Chittagong, an international Bangladeshi port city

- Kolkata’s economic decline was marked after India’s independence

- Bangladesh too has become landlocked on three sides with only sea access; trade and relations between the two nations will flourish if the BCIM project is put in place

- With natural gas reserves of 200 trillion cubic feet ,(largest in Asia Pacific) Bangladesh could be a major energy source

- Moreover, the BCIM project will also attract tourists to India apart from connecting our nation to the energy powerhouse

- Moreover, if CPEC is interconnected with BCIM, the Iran Pakistan gas pipeline will also extend its benefits to India

- CPEC BCIM interconnection will also bolster energy security for India along eastern and western sides

- China would also benefit from a partnership with India which prevents its economy from slowing down

Facts and Stats

- China and India are promoting cooperation under the BCIM framework, Beijing has expressed willingness to work with India to explore synergy between 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and India’s Mausam project

- India has also become a founding member of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which will provide funding for not only BCIM and CPEC but similar projects as well.
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