The importance of Iran for India cannot be overstated. India is Iran’s second largest crude importer, after China. Tensions over Iran’s nuclear and missile program this time around, and the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, have created another round of problems for India.
Considering the historical dominance of US companies in the telecommunication semiconductor business and the software platforms powering smartphones, there is a legitimate concern as to whether Huawei can survive the US sanctions.
At the second Belt and Road Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping attempted to allay growing complaints that the BRI was a predatory debt trap and said that China would promote high financial and environmental standards to steer its projects.
Italy and Greece joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative in March and April, 2019. A major Chinese economic activity in the two Mediterranean countries will center around the development of three historic ports – Trieste and Genoa in Italy and Piraeus in Greece.
Most of the Western criticisms of the BRI are that the initiative is a geopolitical “strategy”. Considering its importance for China’s opening-up in the current stage, we believe it can be further defined as a major international cooperation agenda.
The International North-South Transport Corridor is a transit route designed to facilitate the carriage of goods from Mumbai in India to Helsinki in Finland, using Iranian ports and railroads, which Tehran plans to connect to those of Azerbaijan and Russia and its Baltic ports.
President Xi Jinping told Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman that China is a good friend and partner to Saudi Arabia. Beijing firmly supports Riyadh in its economic diversification drive and social reform and has offered to connect its Belt and Road Initiative with Saudi Vision 2030.