29 November, 2020

Three’s Not A Crowd On A Belt

OBOR’s binding terms perplex some in Pakistan, put India on careful watch, open up a vista of geo-political transformation

Illustration by R. Prasad
Three’s Not A Crowd On A Belt
outlookindia.com
2017-05-20T09:24:41+05:30

As the dust settles over India’s judicial triumph at the Hague, New Delhi will derive satisfaction from what it has ach­ie­ved—that too, in a rule-bound international setting. But there is a parallel geopolitical circumstance where India may be haunted by a sense of not being in the game at all: the giant, transnational web that China calls One Belt One Road (OBOR) and its proximate segment, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

It’s natural that India looks at this phenomenon with a mixture of chagrin and defiance—this week it stayed aloof from the grand OBOR jamboree in Beijing. Some see in the Chinese initiative to exp­and its own area of influence in the Asia-Pacific region a parallel to what the Americans had done after WWII—prop up several Asian economies, like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

“China’s One Road One Belt is indeed a parallel to the American onslaught on globalisation. Now that the US is pulling out of various global pacts like the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which was in...

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