In June 2011, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a speech when she visited India in Chennai in which she mentioned the Indo-Pacific economic corridor and the New Silk route. However, this strategy has faced a backlash under the Obama government after John Kerry occupied the Foggy
Bottom headquarters the state department.
The projects were revived under the Trump administration, Washington announced its two major projects An outline of the project was given in the annual budget which stated that the project would be a public private initiative. The two projects aims to bring integration and cooperation among the regional countries.
According to James McBride, the New Silk route project would involve joint investments projects and participation of regional trade blocs for its successful economic growth in Indo-Pacific and the Central Asia region. The recent headlines about US involvement in bringing about stability in Afghanistan and their active role in the region could be a factor in the New Silk Route strategy. Stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan played an important role in the project.
The ground work was laid during the Obama Administration when 30,000 soldiers were deployed in the Afghanistan region to bring about stability.The rules have changed since the and Trump’s new policy in the region shows strong determination to ouster the regional terror and create an environment of stable government and a safe region for trade purpose. President Trump has also given strong statements encouraging Pakistan to give up its terror activities. He has also asked India Pakistan to amend the differences.
With the New Silk Route focus on Afghanistan and its neighboring countries and the Indo- Pacific Economic corridor focus on south Asia and south east Asia, the projects could be a strategy to counter China’s ambitious Belt And Road initiative. India is not a signatory to the Belt and Road initiative particularly because of the Pak occupied Kashmir region. The region is highly disputed and China intends to build a road that runs through Gilgit-Baltistan region.
India plays a vital role in both the projects, the Indo US economic projects could be an alternative for India for compensating the loss of not being a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. However, the success of these projects could also mean opening up of new markets and investments and new prospects for future.