BCIM Not a Part of BRI | 29 Apr 2019

China has said that the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor will not be a part of the Belt & Road Initiative.

  • India’s decision to skip the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) may have led to the exclusion of the Bangladesh- China- India- Myanmar (BCIM) Economic corridor from the list of projects covered by the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) umbrella.
  • Citing sovereignty concerns, India, for the second time, has not officially participated in the BRF, as China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—a flagship of the BRI—passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • In the official communique of BRF, South Asia is covered by three major undertakings—the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), the Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multidimensional Connectivity Network and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor

  • The 2800 km BCIM corridor proposes to link Kunming in China’s Yunnan province with Kolkata, passing through nodes such as Mandalay in Myanmar and Dhaka in Bangladesh before heading to Kolkata.

China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC)

  • The 1,700-km corridor provides China another node to access the Indian Ocean.
  • The CMEC will run from Yunnan Province of China to Mandalay in Central Myanmar.
  • From there it will head towards Yangon, before terminating at the Kyaukpyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on the Bay of Bengal.
  • The CMEC will reduce Beijing’s trade and energy reliance on the Malacca straits — the narrow passage that links the Indian Ocean with the Pacific.
  • China is worried that US Naval domination over the Malacca straits can threaten one of China’s major economic lifeline.

Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network

  • The Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan connectivity network starting from Chengdu, from where it is linked to Tibet by the Sichuan-Tibet Highway and Railway.
  • China has visualized that that railway can eventually be connected with the Indian railway network, linking China and India across the Himalayas.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

  • The CPEC is a bilateral project between Pakistan and China, intended to promote connectivity across Pakistan with a network of highways, railways, and pipelines accompanied by energy, industrial, and other infrastructure development projects.
  • CPEC links the Western part of China to the Gwadar Port in Balochistan, Pakistan running some 3000 km from Xinjiang to Balochistan via Khunjerab Pass in the Northern Parts of Pakistan.