National Security Vol. IV Issue III | July - September 2021
About the Issue

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was projected as an ideal strategy to promote connectivity, growth, and development in the global ‘South’. BRI also promised win-win gains for all participants. Yet today, the Silk Road imagery of mutual trade expansion, economic growth, interdependence, and resultant peace has fallen from grace. This special issue of National Security analyses how BRI has become enmeshed in numerous controversies over the in-built problems in the initiative and the economic and strategic interests underpinning it.

The initial article by Sujit Dutta, the Editor of National Security, traces how a grand strategy shaped by the need to overcome China’s internal problems and neutralise emerging security challenges evolved into an imperial plan to integrate the regions around China and beyond in a China-centric order to advance its ‘core interests.’ The article by Abanti Bhattacharya, Professor at Delhi University, incisively argues that the BRI is a plan that has its origins in China’s periphery policy aimed to address its security challenges. and that it poses a threat to India’s territoriality, security, and diplomatic interests.

Three articles focus on the BRI’s growth and operations in Southern Asia. Scholar Prateek Joshi writes on the impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in strengthening the role of the army and China’s control of the economy. He points out the difficulty in assessing the extent of gains, loan utilized, or debt build up due to the absence of reliable statistics. Sreeradha Datta, Senior Fellow at the VIF, discusses Dhaka’s many expectations, the reality of BRI in action, and its watchful approach to avoid becoming ‘another Sri Lanka’. Finally, Jaideep Chanda, former Senior Fellow at the VIF, traces the domestic challenges constraining the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), and the cautious stance adopted by successive governments.

The contributions bring fresh data and analysis to the fore and add to an improved understanding of the dynamics of BRI in the region.

Letters and Comments

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Editorial Board
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Contents: Vol. IV Issue III | July - September 2021

Editor's Note | The Making of a Chinese Global Plan


Belt and Road at the Cross-Roads: Imperial Ambitions and Blowback | Sujit Dutta

Periphery, Vulnerability and the Belt and Road Initiative | Abanti Bhattacharya

China Pakistan Economic Corridor: Domestic Trajectory and Contested Geopolitics | Prateek Joshi

Bangladesh and Belt Road Initiative: Unfolding Possibilities | Sreeradha Datta

The China Myanmar Economic Corridor: A Reality Check | Jaideep Chanda

Book Reviews

A Sensitive Account of the Brave Gurkhas | Arvind Gupta

Preparing for the 21st Century Battles | P K Chakravorty

Important Information
  • The copyright of National Security rests with VIF.
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  • The Editor/Institute reserves the right to make a final decision on the publication, National Security post-review as well as the right to make alterations.
    Selected contributors will be informed of the decision to include their articles in the forthcoming Publication via email.
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