China is hosting the Belt and Road Forum (BRF), a two-day event, which started today in Beijing. The forum will discuss the ambitious One Belt One Road project, which will link China with Europe and Africa. India is not attending the forum due to the inclusion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in the One Belt One Road initiative, the Indian Express. Here are five things you need to know about the project.
1) China’s One Belt One Road initiative is an initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping. OBOR focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation between Asian countries, Africa, Europe and China. The emphasis of the plan is to enhance land as well as maritime routes between Europe, Africa, Asia and China.
2) Leaders of 29 countries, which includes Russia, South Korea, and UK will attend the two-day Belt and Road Forum. US, Germany and France have also confirmed their participation.
3) Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to take center stage during the Belt and Road Forum because of its linkage with the $54 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – this links the Pakistani port city of Gwadar to Western China. Nawaz Sharif is expected to discuss CPEC’s significance in the region.
4) India and Bhutan are the only two South Asian countries which are not taking part in China’s OBOR.
5) India in its own endeavours has taken a number of such initiatives too. These include a three-nation highway project under the ‘Act East’ policy. The project will link India, Myanmar and Bangladesh. India also plans to make inroads into Central Asia through Chabahar Port in Iran.