BRI- Debt-Trap Policy Or East India Company?


The Belt and Road Initiative is an alternative plan of China for the expansion of trade and business in the region as well as to de-escalate routes across the globe. China’s estimated plan of investment is about 1 to 8 Trillion for the BRI Projects. Approximately, 124 countries in the world are associated with China’s BRI Projects and China is willing to expand the proposal to many other countries across the world. BRI has its two kinds; Economic Belt on lands and Maritime Silk road in oceans. It is the Economic Belt which is currently facing huge criticism from the United States for running Debt-trap diplomacy of China as investment. Actually, BRI mainly focuses on major categories: International Trade, Infrastructure Development, Financial Investment through Energy, Transport, Economic Zones, Communication, and Ports areas. What is Debt-trap diplomacy? Debt-trap diplomacy refers to a financial support given by the powerful country to the less powerful in terms of economy and development and in return expanding leverage over the borrower. According to the United States, China wants to increase its economical and political influence specially over the developing countries in the world as investment in the name of BRI Projects- Belt and Road Initiative projects inaugurated by China in 2013 and started working by 2015. The United States blames China for following ‘Debt-Trap Policy’ later after the Chinese Government gained its conditional authority over Sri Lankan port for 99 years long period and Pakistan’s Gwadar Port for 40 years on lease. What is China doing? The Republic Of China builds its military bases in countries where the investment is fixed as per the rules and regulations of BRI Projects. Above are some arguments and objections raised by the United States; who are extremely against China’s BRI Projects in the developing countries, particularly. Now, what if the fear of the United States comes true? For sure, as all the super power countries do not wish to lag behind the competition in this Age of intelligence. So, the US does not wish. But what are the intentions of China? No doubt, China is investing in the developing countries for its own benefits more than the intention to provide sympathy. China wants to expand its routes and ways mainly because of importing and exporting goods and services and in order to import oil from middle east countries through ports and routes constructed under BRI Projects. Basically, China has to decrease the state borders and corridors and that is the reason it is investing more in developing countries. But, such are the only positive sides of the BRI Projects. Deliberately speaking, the fear of the United States is based on rational choice. Why? Firstly, China is more interested in its investment in developing countries compared to the developed ones. Secondly, China gives big loans to the developing countries as a financial assistance but, if in case, they are unable to pay the loan back, then China gains authority over the small territory per the conditions fixed at the time of agreement, simultaneously. Thirdly, China fixes its own regulations over the projects to be started in the developing countries and hires its own companies, this way, the amount which China gives to the developing countries as loans brings back to its own country by hiring its own people. These are the major reasons BRI is facing criticism in the United States. The question is, what advantages would be generated by China through the Belt and Road Initiative? China is going to be a more powerful and more influential country, lagging the US behind in terms of Economical, Political, and Digital influence. China is already the largest super power country in the world. Its GDP as well as export and import activities are influential. Many call BRI as East India Company also except Debt-Trap diplomatic.


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