China’s Maritime Silk Road Plan

china defence budget
  • China has unveiled details of its Indian Ocean focused initiative “maritime Silk Road” plan which was announced last year and for which 3 billion Yuan (around $500 million) maritime cooperation fund was set up. Details include:
    • Prioritize building ports and bettering infrastructure in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that fall in the route.
    • Coordinate customs, quality supervision, e-commerce and other agencies to facilitate the scheme.
    • Establish free trade zones in Indian Ocean countries.
  • China’s southern provinces of Yunnan — which borders Myanmar and is part of the plan to build a Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor — and Guangxi Zhuang may be entrusted to execute the plan. China is also involved in port projects in Gwadar, Hambantota and Chittagong.
  • The move will strengthen China’s economic and maritime hold in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) especially in India’s neighborhood.
  • It is also seen as a strategy to mitigate anxieties regarding China’s increasing military and naval presence; and is considered a response to the “string of pearls” theory which suggests that China is looking to build military bases in littoral countries from Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka.
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Exams Perspective:

  1. Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) corridor
  2. Indian Ocean Region (IOR)
  3. “String of Pearls” theory
  4. India China Bilateral Relations
  5. Maritime Silk Route
  6. Bluewater Navy