China is a clear winner in the physical connectivity stakes in the Bay of Bengal, and there's a reason a why: Its projects are connected to one another, from rail to road to port. While India also has some successful cross-border road and rail infrastructure projects, they are often an extension of an existing railway line or highway, not specific to the connectivity needs of the region. India can win by focussing instead on building infrastructure to maximise the vast maritime potential of the Bay of Bengal, especially the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that give India access to critical sea channels and trade routes.
Gateway House interviewed Jabin Jacob, assistant director and fellow at the Institute for China Studies, New Delhi, on the relationship between China and Pakistan, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) as well as the China's one belt-one road initiative.
Recently signed sub-regional agreements will help India's 'Act East' by furthering trade and connectivity linkages as well as build strategic relations with important powers in Asia. China's regional integration growth in the past decade should be the benchmark for India.
A major theme at the multilateral summits this month was connectivity, with China at the forefront. India is trailing behind due to a shortfall in investment and political will, among other factors. Prime Minister Modi must follow up on his meetings at the SAARC Summit by robustly taking forward India’s connectivity agenda