China said that it welcomes the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor announced on the sidelines of the G20 summit so long it doesn’t become a “geopolitical tool”, even as it downplayed Italy’s plan to pull out of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The ambitious multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 envisions connecting China with Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes rebuilding the old Silk Road trade route.
During G20 Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to launch the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor which includes India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, France, Italy, Germany and the US. India TV also asked public opinion through a poll — Will China’s BRI project face a setback due to the economic corridor proposed by India?
While 90 per cent think that China is going to hit a road block, 7 percent think that the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor will not impact the BRI project and 3 per cent were unable to decide.