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What is China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project?

All you need to know about China's ambitious OBOR project.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 14, 2017 6:10 pm
obor, what is obor, one belt one road, what is one belt one road, xi jinping, china pakistan, cpec, obor china, china news, india news, indian express news Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing (Source: Reuters)

Nepal officially inked the One Belt One Belt (OBOR) deal with China on Friday leaving India as the only South-Asian country not to be involved in the Asian superpower’s ambitious project. The deal, which was  signed in Kathmandu, would allow development of cross-border connectivity and more. With the exception of Bhutan, which has no diplomatic ties with China, every other South Asian country has signed into OBOR. Heads of state of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Myanmar and high-level delegations from Bangladesh and Nepal will be attending the two-day Belt and Road Forum in China.

So what exactly is OBOR?

Touted as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious project, the One Belt One Road initiative focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe. The emphasis is on enhancing land as well as maritime routes. The policy is significant for China since it aims to boost domestic growth in the country. Experts have noted that OBOR is also a part of China’s strategy for economic diplomacy. Considering China’s exclusion from G7, OBOR policy might just provide China an opportunity to continue its economic development.

obor, what is obor, one belt one road, what is one belt one road, xi jinping, china pakistan, cpec, obor china, china news, india news, indian express news Leaders of 28 countries including Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to attend the Chinese summit showcasing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy plan, and will be held in the capital city from May 14-15. (Source: AP Photo)

Why is India opposed to OBOR?

The main reason behind India’s opposition towards the policy is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a part of OBOR. Recent Chinese reports claim that following the launch of CPEC in Pakistan, the country has received investments worth more than $46 billion. “We are all for promoting connectivity… but on the OBOR, our position is that since the so-called CPEC forms a part of OBOR, and it passes through Indian territory, that is where our difficulty lies,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Gopal Baglay had said earlier this week. Citing sovereignty issues, India has raised objections over CPEC projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). China, however, has not tried to attenuate India’s concerns. “The CPEC is a flagship project, but all countries in South Asia have now confirmed participation in the Belt and Road Forum and are making use of the initiative,” Wang Dehua, Director, Institute for South and Central Asia Studies in Shanghai told Indian Express.

Belt and Road Forum?

Beijing will host the two-day Belt and Road Forum (BRF) starting May 14 facilitating high-level delegations talks among leaders, including 29 Heads of State, on OBOR.  India will not be attending the forum. China Foreign Ministry spokesperson said some Indian scholars would be participating in relevant activities during the Belt and Road Forum.

orob, what is orob, one road one belt, what is one road one belt, orob china, china news, india news, indian express news The Grand National Theatre is illuminated ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. (Source: Reuters)

Nepal in, India absent: What does this mean for India?

Nepal and India have sustained good bilateral ties. However, with China entering the equation, India might just have a hard time in keeping its status intact. Chinese foreign policy experts have noted that Nepal’s inclusion in OBOR may force India to join the initiative or face exclusion. Hu Shisheng, Director of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told The Indian Express: “If India does not participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, something all her neighbours are positive about, then the neighbours will have cause to complain. This is not constructive for India and will reduce its appeal in the region. The neighbours may ask questions like why is India not involved?”

For a more detailed explanation on the policy, click here.

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  1. L
    Jul 25, 2017 at 1:09 pm
    It seems now the Hindians are now in the receiving end after committing hegemonisitc policies for last 6 decades. Weakness of Indian army is result of the Hindification of Indian army, Indian army committing attrocities in the North east and Delhi divisive policy of disallowing lingual equality in India sidelining its own populace. The Hindians will now have to deal with a bigger power. It possible that Hindi traitors sold China part of Indian territory and now pretending they are "defending" it. They already did these acts in TN (Katchaiteevu), Manipur (Hindu temple gate), along the Bangladesh border etc.
    1. Prranjal Shrivaastav
      Jul 3, 2017 at 3:48 pm
      Bharat should start shelling the CPEC because it passes through Bhartiya territory and without authorization from Bharat. The more our leaders terrify themselves of Chinese aggression, the more they weaken the moral of us people and that of our military. Start bombing them and do not give into the threats of the red-faced terrorists.
      1. Kedar Nath
        Jun 13, 2017 at 5:21 pm
        It is a good decision that India is not the part of OBOR. Except India all the neighbours joined. It is the question of India's security. China and stan are good friends from long ago. Now Indian Army should to alert each and every time. What I think is, stan and China will try to attack India in the near future. Because stan wants Kashmir and China will help in any manner to stan. This will be one strongest reason behind India is not joining OBOR.
        1. A
          Ashwin taparia
          Jun 7, 2017 at 9:40 am
          This is a perfect decision made by india .I should say stan expects some ist regarding disputed areas as well as devlopment but OBOR will nourish and devlops china itself dia has made a good strategic call in this agreement.
          1. Shashi Bilga
            May 20, 2017 at 10:18 am
            India's concerns should be taken care of before any final decision on B R F in Beijing.
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