- The Sichuan-Tibet railway project will connect Lhasa with Chengdu, and include Tibet in China’s transportation corridor to Europe.
- It will pass through Nyngchi prefecture in close proximity to the disputed areas of Arunachal Pradesh.
- 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.
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?
- Ethnic insurgencies, terrorism, drug trafficking,
- Accompanying spread of HIV infections, antiques smuggling and
- cross-border human trafficking, threaten to derail the project.
- 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.
- Communal violence involving Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims has also flared in Rakhine State.
- The Chinese Province of Yunnan and the Indian State of West Bengal are the engines of the (BCIM) corridor.
- BCIM initiative is “in sync” with India’s thrust on accelerated development of infrastructure, which included construction of railways, industrial corridors and smart cities.
- A successful emergence of “flagship projects” is now necessary to change public perceptions about the China-India economic partnership.
- India has finally gotten serious about a new regional cooperation framework known as Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Cooperation.
- This concept has been under discussion for more than a decade & a half but India has been mostly reluctant about it.
- 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.
- 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 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.
“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.