China’s One Belt, One Road is undoubtedly a massive global infrastructural outreach aimed at connecting nations and continents on a mammoth scale (“Way to get back on board”, March 23). The OBOR will provide huge economic benefits to the nations hosting the projects besides expanding global trade. However, the OBOR is not a Chinese global Marshall Plan that has been primarily devised to bring economic prosperity to the participating nations. It is a purely commercial venture intended to provide strategic security and trade benefits to China whose current export-led growth is under strain because of protectionist trends raging across the world. Continued economic growth and prosperity for the Chinese underpin the Chinese Communist Party’s unchallenged legitimacy as the sole centre of power. Moreover, the projects will mostly be executed by Chinese companies.
In its dealings with China, India has given away more than it has received. After accepting China’s sovereignty over Tibet and following the One China policy, India has only faced aggressive territorial claims from its neighbour. Therefore, India has no reason to rush and sign up for the OBOR. If China wants India’s cooperation, it needs to respect India’s demands and reroute the OBOR through Afghanistan.