Dialogue on stalled BCIM corridor set to resume in Kolkata

  1. Context: Negotiations on the stalled Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor are set to resume next week in Kolkata
  2. After a gap of over two year, the meeting of Joint Study Group (JSG) of academics and officials of the four countries on April 25-26 is expected to finalise the road map for the BCIM economic corridor
  3. The last meeting of the BCIM was held in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh in December 2014
  4. China: India had become lukewarm to the BCIM project by linking it with its reservations on the China-Pakistan economic corridor which passed through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)
  5. India: Declined the possibility of a connection between the two
  6. However, India has expressed readiness for participation in standalone connectivity projects with China, which were not necessarily connected with the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  7. Both the BCIM and the CPEC predate the formal launch of the BRI

Note4students:

Important for international relations. Note the views of both the countries on BCIM v/s CPEC issue. This gives us a hint on what side to lean in answers.

Back2basics:

About BCIM:


  1. The BCIM economic corridor is an ambitious undertaking that hopes to connect Kolkata with Kunming, capital of the Yunnan province
  2. It envisages formation of a thriving economic belt, focusing on cross-border transport, energy and telecommunication networks
  3. Starting from Kunming, the route passes through nodal points, such as Mandalay and Lashio in Myanmar
  4. It heads towards Kolkata after passing through Manipur and Silchar, before crossing Bangladesh via Sylhet and Dhaka, with branches extending to the ports of Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong
  5. Chinese experts in Yunnan say that except for a 200-km stretch between Silchar in Assam and Manipur, and a similar length between Kalewa and Monywah in Myanmar, the central artery of the route is nearly functional

Integrating Tibet with the world

  1. The Sichuan-Tibet railway project will connect Lhasa with Chengdu, and include Tibet in China’s transportation corridor to Europe.
  2. It will pass through Nyngchi prefecture in close proximity to the disputed areas of Arunachal Pradesh.
  3. Plans are also to extend it to the Yunnan province and integrating it with BCIM economic corridor which also passes through Yunnan. This can boost tourism in North Eastern India.

Non-traditional threats stalk Kolkata-Kunming corridor

 


The BCIM corridor is an ambitious undertaking that hopes to connect Kolkata with Kunming, capital of the Yunnan province.

What are these non traditional issues?

  1. Ethnic insurgencies, terrorism, drug trafficking,
  2. Accompanying spread of HIV infections, antiques smuggling and
  3. cross-border human trafficking, threaten to derail the project.

Traditional threats?

  1. Fighting between Myanmar Army and ethnic Kokang rebels, known as the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, based near the Chinese border, pose a threat to the network.
  2. Communal violence involving Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims has also flared in Rakhine State.

Yunnan, West Bengal the key drivers for BCIM

  1. The Chinese Province of Yunnan and the Indian State of West Bengal are the engines of the (BCIM) corridor.
  2. BCIM initiative is “in sync” with India’s thrust on accelerated development of infrastructure, which included construction of railways, industrial corridors and smart cities.
  3. A successful emergence of “flagship projects” is now necessary to change public perceptions about the China-India economic partnership.

BCIM: Can India Be a Driving Force?

  1. India has finally gotten serious about a new regional cooperation framework known as Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Cooperation.
  2. This concept has been under discussion for more than a decade & a half but India has been mostly reluctant about it.
  3. With the Indian government’s focus on regional connectivity and China’s push for a Southern Silk Road, all 4 countries are now engaged in the initiative.
  4. The current Indian government has given clear indicators that it is likely to place regional integration high on its economic diplomacy agenda, be it SAARC, ASEAN or BCIM.

Bangladesh keen on BCIM corridor

Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed Friday said the formation of the four-country BCIM (Bangladesh-China India Myanmar) Corridor and removal of tariff barriers from India will boost bilateral trade between the two countries.

NDA looking at North-East with eye on China

“BCIM corridor is an alternative to the Stilwell route,” said India’s ambassador to Bhutan, Gautam Bambawale.

Stilwell Road, dating back to World War II, is a 770 km highway linking North-East India with Myanmar and China, but India has been wary of opening this route for economic activity given its proximity to Arunachal Pradesh.



:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.







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