Research Report

The 21st Century Silk Road

Krishnan Srinivasan

Krishnan Srinivasan

Former Foreign Secretary, India

The Roman Empire was built around roads, the foundations of which still exist today. The British Empire was based on a mastery of the sea lanes, railways and the telegraph. The Chinese project of the 21st century Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) comprises rail, road and maritime links. It is the possibility of a Chinese empire that causes concern. I want to pose four questions;

■ Is the BRI in keeping with the spirit of the times?
■ Should India have attended the Beijing May summit on BRI?
■ Should India have objected to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir?
■ Could India have made constructive counter proposals to the CPEC? (In other words, to take advantage of it)

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