China’s One Belt, One Road Strategy Has Competition from Japan and India, and Russia
The Diplomat, 15 December 2017, One Belt, One Road, and One Big Competition: It’s not just China; the race to build Eurasian infrastructure has many players.
Extract: China’s Belt and Road Initiative dominates news coverage, but building infrastructure in Eurasia is not a purely Chinese-led endeavor. Other actors, big and small, are involved, to include, Japan, Russia, India, and Turkey.
Announced in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is an . amalgam of . infrastructure projects across Eurasia and its maritime periphery. . The funding figures bandied about by official Chinese sources approach $900 billion, sometimes rounded up to, and beyond, $1 trillion.
Japanese finance attached to the condition of Japanese involvement, as is the case with China, of course.Alarm bells ring particularly loud in India, where China’s port construction is seen as an effort to encircle India with a “string of pearls,” woven throughout the Indian Ocean. India has a particular problem with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which runs through the contested territory of Kashmir.
Together, Japan and India have replicated elements of their larger strategic relationship in their investment and development initiatives… In the military realm, they host joint exercises; in the infrastructure world, Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe have something of an alternative Silk Road in the form of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor.India is investing in Southeast Asia and Iran, but it cannot compete with China on a serious scale, and New Delhi has its own domestic problems when it comes to . infrastructure. The job of competing with China in Asia thus falls largely to Japan.
Japan’s main countermove to China’s new “lend and build” push was the announcement of its Partnership for Quality Infrastructure (PQI). High-speed rail is the main arena of direct. Broadly, Japan and India’s competition with the Belt and Road is motivated by a desire to resist an Asian future dominated by China.
The EU, South Korea, Turkey, and Iran also view the Belt and Road with varying degrees of enthusiasm and caution. They all have their own infrastructure initiatives, which cooperate and compete with the Belt and Road to varying degrees. Vladimir Putin’s grand, civilizational understanding of “Eurasianism” is embodied in the European Economic Union (EEU), which is the Russian president’s flagship project for the integration of the post-Soviet sphere. However, Putin must depend, to varying degrees on China, in pursuing this inititiave.
Infrastructure building in Eurasia might be a complex international effort led by competing visions, but no vision compares in scope to that of China. For more, please see hyperlink: