China’s growing global economic influence is playing a major role in reshaping the world as under its flagship program ‘One Belt, One Road’, widely known as Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) has given the country a dominion position in Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia & Africa. Despite going from Eurasia to Africa, the major states of BRI lie in South Asia as it is the intersection point where the maritime connects continents – Europe, Africa and Asia via land and the Indian Ocean. By constructing overland routes under BRI, China ensures its access to the Indian Ocean and a secure energy supply.
Under BRI, China has massive political and economic gains to yield especially in South Asian countries. Besides strengthening domestic capacities and avoiding external involvement, China gains the advantage of attaining soft powers in countries it is extended to. On the other hand, there is also a growing concern regarding the underutilization of infrastructure projects which can be counterproductive.
While the progress of BRI will unfold in time, there is a need to compile a depository of the investments made in participating economies in South Asia and a thorough assessment of their progress all along. For the reason being, BRIWatch.info has been established as an one-stop online platform that aims to provide credible information to monitor pro-people progress on BRI while being an open-access platform. To add the weight of credibility to BRIWatch.info, the information shared in this repository will be shared from reliable sources like research and academic journals, civil society research think-tanks, conventional media and social media.
The areas to focus under BRIWatch will be related to China’s investment in energy, information and communication technologies (ICTs), roads and railroad infrastructure, the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), real estate and the social sector including education, health, agriculture, tourism and others.