- MAINS GENERAL STUDIES PAPER 2
- India and its neighbourhood- relations.
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
- Chinese Consul-General in Kolkata, Ma Zhanwu on September 12, 2018 announced that China is looking forward to plan bullet trains from Kolkata to Kunming City of China.
- However, the Chinese diplomat did not reveal the details of the route. The train is expected to traverse through Myanmar and Bangladesh.
- The project was mentioned at the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) meet in Kunming in 2015.
- Proposing a 2,800 km-long high-speed rail link between Kunming and Kolkata, traversing through Myanmar and Bangladesh.
- “It will only take a few hours to reach Kolkata from Kunming if the rail link becomes a reality”. – Chinese Consul-General
LACK OF CLARITY ON THE PROPOSAL
- However, the Chinese envoy did not reveal if the project has been proposed to New Delhi through formal channels.
- The envoy also did not clarify whether the project would fall under the ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative of Chines President Xi Jinping or will be a standalone initiative.
COMES AT A TIME WHEN INDIA WANTS CHINESE INVESTMENTS IN NORTH EAST
BANGLADESH-CHINA-INDIA-MYANMAR (BCIM) ECONOMIC CORRIDOR
Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor is a multimodal transport corridor with the aim to connect India (Kolkata) and china (Kunming) via Bangladesh (Dhaka) and Myanmar (Mandalay). The idea was given a shape in the form of BCIM forum in 1999 in the first ‘Kunming Initiative’, the capital of Chinese Yunnan province It is intended to advance multi-modal connectivity, promote investment and trade and facilitate people-to-people contacts through a combination of road, rail, water and air linkages in the region. The multi-modal corridor will be the first expressway between India and China and will pass through Myanmar and Bangladesh.
IMPORTANCE OF BCIM
- India will benefit in terms of the development of the Kolkata port and the opening up of the economic potential of the northeast states
- BCIM offers India an opportunity to create its own win-win relationship with China.
- Tourism too will get a boost.
- BCIM can not only be a game-changer for this region in Asia, but is also pivotal for India’s ‘Act East’
- China will obtain one more route bypassing the Malacca Straits.