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Revival of the Silk Route II Linking Kunming, China to Kolkata, India

In an effort to establish a high speed rail link between Kunming (in China) and Kolkata (in India), China is making efforts to revive the ancient silk route. The proposed 2,800 km rail corridor, starting from the capital city of Yunnan province and passing through Myanmar and Bangladesh, could be funded through China’s Silk Road development fund or the Asian Infrastructure fund.

This rail route link would be part of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor aimed at boosting trade and relations through movement of goods and people. China has pledged $40 billion for the silk route, having a trade potential of $132 billion.h

“We are already constructing network of highways in our domestic territory bordering Myanmar. Response from Bangladesh and India is also encouraging,” said Li Jiming, Vice Secretary General of Yunnan province . He added, “We are glad to know that after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office, the look east policy has substantially moved ahead. We hope we can join our efforts together. We are big partners and influential in the region.”

The four countries have agreed to build and encourage road, rail, air and waterways connecting each other, besides laying power transmission lines and oil pipelines. As part of efforts to strengthen connectivity, Shandong Airlines would start flight services between Kunming and New Delhi from next month.

The BCIM initiative is unfolding at a time when China is making transition from an inward-looking nation to a more strategically active member of the international community playing a fundamental role in shaping the pattern of development in the Asia-Pacific.This will give a big boost to the Indian economy and will improve the bi-lateral relations with other neighboring countries as well.

Source: Economic Times