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Why China added The Belt & Road Initiative to its Constitution?

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News Analysis |

China’s ambitious ‘Silk Road’ is embedded in the constitution of the country. On the occasion of its 19th CPC National Congress, 2,300 delegates gathered to elect the party’s leading bodies and hear reports with an ambition to become a ‘great modern socialist country” by mid-century.

China’s Xi pushed his pet One Belt One Road (OBOR)-a global infrastructure initiative, as a part of the constitution through an amendment. The China’s constitution is considered free-flowing and open to amendments as compared to the other developed countries.

This amendment has far-reaching implications. Addressing the gathering at the conference, Xi stated that, “we hope to make new ground in opening China further through links running eastward and westward, across the land and over the sea.”

Emergence and transcendence of China through Silk Road has worried India. It has widened the already strained relationship between the two mighty economic powerhouses.

Despite China’s emergence as a second big economy of the world, according to the data on International Monetary Funds (IMF) website, China is still ranked 79th in the world in terms of per capita GDP.

The dominant Chinese president, Xi Jinping first proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt in Astana in May of 2013. China’s OBOR is comprised of a number of interconnected infrastructure projects and bi-lateral deals which rekindles the magic of old Silk Road by opening enhanced trade routes from China to Europe and Africa. It comprises of spending of nearly $1.2 trillion on power grids, roads, railways, ports and over the next decade or so.

Read more: Will OBOR help China to overcome its economic crisis?

It is a step which solidifies this initiative as a core plan of action that is to be carried out long into the future if China is to become a number-one economic power of the world. This project has been very close to Xi’s heart, and it was initiated to ensure that substantial Chinese investment abroad is secured. Moreover, by ensuring it to be part of governments’ constitution and policy, a strong message is sent to all the hostile forces in the region, Europe and across the Atlantic.

The declaration of America’s new Afghanistan and South Asia policy, India and US echoed same rhetoric against the OBOR. However, by making Silk Road part of the constitution, China once again reaffirmed the world of its grand ambitions to rule the world.

In past, EU leaders had shown concerns for this project sighting environmental concerns and non-inclusion of EU stakes in the project. It is a clear signal of China’s seriousness in the project. The program is not only instrumental in creating new business opportunities for the Chinese domestic companies but also for the companies from Asia to Europe.

Without a doubt, this initiative has the potential to facilitate a number of developing countries on its way by potentially alleviating them out of poverty. However, some economists and analysts have also shown the apprehensions about the possibility of expected transformation of the developing countries along its route. But it is believed to be a potential ‘game changer.’

Read more: CPEC will not stir up Indo-Pak Trouble, says China

Emergence and transcendence of China through Silk Road has worried India. It has widened the already strained relationship between the two mighty economic powerhouses. India’s public criticism of the plan is not taken well in China. India’s primary concern has been its passage through the disputed area of Pakistan Administered Kashmir.

China’s OBOR is comprised of a number of interconnected infrastructure projects and bi-lateral deals which rekindles the magic of old Silk Road by opening enhanced trade routes from China to Europe and Africa.

This new development is the positive one from Pakistan’s perspective. The consolidation of OBOR reflects the high stakes in the success of the project. The successful completion of the project will undoubtedly vindicate Pakistan’s position. Pakistan is a country with tremendous growth potential, and the impediment to its success has been the lack of infrastructural development.

Read more:  CPEC will not stir up Indo-Pak Trouble, says China

Since, the declaration of America’s new Afghanistan and South Asia policy, India and US echoed same rhetoric against the OBOR. However, by making Silk Road part of the constitution, China once again reaffirmed of its grand ambitions to rule the world.


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