In a recent development seen as an attempt by Trump administration to counter China’s Belt and Road initiative, the United States in its annual budget has resurrected two infrastructure projects in South and Southeast Asia with India denoting a dominant partner in the initiative.
US in its ‘New Silk Road’ project and the ‘Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor’ have outlined the two projects in Trump’s first annual budget with India being a key partner nation.
Trump administration highlights that the project will be a public-private initiative with India playing a role of a major contributor to the development of the New Silk Road.
First announced in July 2011 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, both the projects aim to link South and Southeast Asia region together.
Hillary during her visit to India said that the Turkmen gas fields could help meet the “growing energy need for India” and provide transit revenues to Afghanistan.
When completed, New Silk Road project will help to integrate the region and boost its potential as a transit between Europe and East Asia.
This development hampers China’s Belt and Road Initiative (B&R) strategy that focuses on connecting Beijing with Europe and African market through Asian countries and the Indian Ocean.
India has long maintained its stand of displeasure for China’s Belt and Road initiative as the programme runs through the controversial disputed region of Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.