China Myanmar Economic Corridor

  • China and Myanmar have moved a step closer on negotiating the China-Myanmar economic corridor.
  • This initiative is being given a high priority on account of the stalled Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) connectivity proposal.
  • The negotiations for the formation of the BCIM corridor have virtually been stalled after Beijing went ahead with its plans to establish the China-Pakistan economic corridor.

Y- shaped corridor

  • China-Myanmar economic corridor will be a Y- shaped corridor.
  • It will start from China’s Yunnan province and head towards Mandalay in Myanmar.
  • From Mandalay, it will extend towards Yangon New City in the East and Kyaukphyu special economic zone (in the Rakhine province) in the West.

Importance of the corridor

The corridor is important for both China and Myanmar in the following ways:

  1. It will enhance the connectivity between the two countries.
  2. It will connect Beijing with the Indian Ocean.
  3. It will accelerate the transfer of China’s industries to Myanmar (Due to the rising cost of labour, overcapacity and industrial development, China has begun to transfer some of its industries abroad).
  4. It will turn Myanmar into an important destination for China and other East Asian countries.
  5. It will create more jobs and bolster development.

Myanmar’s approach

  • Despite a flurry of diplomatic interaction between China and Myanmar in the aftermath of the Rohingya crisis, the Myanmar side is shedding a zero-sum approach and is also actively engaging with India.
  • Myanmar is seeking Indian investments in the central Myanmar region.
  • Myanmar has backed India’s Act East Policy and Neighbourhood First approach that promoted India’s relationship with the ASEAN countries including Myanmar.
  • Recently, India-Myanmar Bilateral Military Exercise (IMBAX-2017) was concluded at the Joint Training Node in Umroi, Meghalaya.

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