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U.S. to Counter China’s Belt-and-Road with Trade Corridor Linking India to Europe via Israel

U.S. to Counter China’s Belt-and-Road with Trade Corridor Linking India to Europe via Israel

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Israel will be a central junction in this economic corridor.”

The United States on Saturday backed the construction of a rail and shipping corridor linking India with Europe, running though Israel and the Middle East. The ‘India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor,’ as the project is called, “would stretch across the Arabian Sea from India to the United Arab Emirates, then cross Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel before linking up to Europe,” the Financial Times (UK) reported.

The agreement was signed by the U.S., European and Arab leaders at the summit of G20 countries in New Delhi, India. The White House welcomed the project, calling it ‘landmark’ in a statement released on Saturday.

“The planned corridor would link India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Israel and the EU through shipping ports and rail routes, in an effort to make trade quicker and cheaper and to boost economic cooperation and digital connectivity across the region,” British newspaper The Guardian reported.

The U.S.-backed project aims to counter China’s Belt and Road initiative, which runs through Asia and Africa, and strengthens Beijing’s hold over developing economies.

“The initiative would also provide a counterbalance to China’s vast infrastructure corridor, the Belt and Road project, which currently stretches across Asia, Africa and Latin America and has given China sizeable influence over countries that have struggling economies,” the UK daily added.

Indian newspaper The Hindustan Times reported the details of the project:

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of China’s Belt-Road-Initiative next month, India, the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union literally check-mated President Xi Jinping by signing the MoU to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEE-EC) to connect Asia and Europe by promoting economic integration.

At a time when Italy, a G-7 power, under Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is poised to withdraw from China-sponsored BRI, it was propitious to note that US President Joe Biden joined hands with estranged friend Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to solidly back the project. UAE President, a very close friend of PM Modi and an ally of India, was one of the promoters of the project and a firm believer of the Arabian Peninsula acting as an economic bridge between India and Europe. With another close friend Emmanuel Macron providing support, Germany and Italy along with the European Commission have joined hands in the groundbreaking project.

The Middle East corridor consists of two separate corridors. The East Corridor will link the Indian port of Mundra on the west coast to Fujairah port and then using the railroad via Saudi Arabia and Jordan transport goods through standardized containers to the Israeli port of Haifa. The west corridor will be from Haifa, from where the Indian goods will reach various ports like Marseille in France and other ports in Italy and Greece.

Barring a small stretch of railroad that has to be built by Saudi Arabia, the entire corridor is complete and can be activated in near future. The project is very ambitious as it has the potential to link countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh with this corridor if the Myanmar junta allows a dedicated port for this project and walks out of the ever lengthening shadow of China.

The agreement might also explain why China’s President Xi Jinping skipped the annual G20 meet for the first time. In recent years, military clashes have reignited between China and India over a long-standing territorial dispute.

PM Netanyahu welcomes India-Europe corridor

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu welcomed the project which would make Israel a major logistical hub connecting markets of Asia and Europe. Israel and Saudi Arabia, both major players in the Middle East, will be joining the rail and port corridor, further enhancing bilateral cooperation.

The Israeli TV i24NEWS channel reported prime minister’s response:

“Israel is at the focus of an unprecedented international project that will link infrastructure from Asia to Europe,” Netanyahu said in a recorded video statement. “This link will also realize a multi-year vision that will change the face of the Middle East, and Israel, and will affect the entire world. This vision starts in India, passes through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel before reaching Europe.”

Netanyahu further stated that “the State of Israel will be a central junction in this economic corridor. Our railways and ports will open a new gateway from India, through the Middle East, to Europe, and back.”

Iran, Pakistan left out

Two notable countries to be missing from the project are Iran and Pakistan, both of whom are deeply entangled in China’s Belt and Road projects.

New Delhi had been trying to build a trade route to Europe though Russia via the Iranian port of Chabahar. The project has repeatedly run into troubles due to U.S. and European sanctions on Russia and Iran.


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This does not sound like anything I would recognize as having come from the Biden administration.
Who is the mastermind behind this, and whose burner phone did he use?

    Im assuming this is something 10% China Joe’s Chinese owners have allowed him to pretend he is doing?

      docduracoat in reply to mailman. | September 11, 2023 at 9:53 am

      There is no way the Biden administration is going to do anything that helps Israel.
      And considering that he’s a pawn of the Chinese, there’s no way he’s going to interfere with the Chinese belt and Road initiative.

      So good work by the national security agency, but the state department will never allow anything that is good for America or helps Israel and hurts China

Belt and Road must be a bad translation of some Chinese ellipsis.

I don’t believe this will happen. I think it’s a Biden campaign slogan in the making. (Also, I think Egypt would collapse from a significant drop in Suez Canal revenue.)

“Months of careful diplomatic effort” U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor, Jon Finer. Why is NSA and not State dept. foreign office officials leading diplomatic missions? Is this the norm? It certainly isn’t a historical norm; inter agency jealousies.

Israeli port of Haifa looks like a forty year old shipping container port linked with cruise ship facilities. This does not come close to competing with current Chinese container port facilities: Autonomous flatbeds moving shipping containers between incoming and outgoing container cargo ships 24/7/365. 90% of it is autonomous.

In a sidebar link the J-Post notes Israel lacks the manpower needed to build all of this infrastructure. Palestines won’t do it or trust issues. The thousands of Eritrean refugees seem unfitted for it, too. All of these well fed and clothed young men and no one to do the work.

And of course the Arabs lack modern infrastructure (unless it’s luxury hotels,) always the weak link.

Oh, and Vietnam, Burma etc. are just side jobbed afterthoughts. Burma because its “junta” refuses to bend the knee – read as: they refuse to allow Muslims to disrupt their majority Buddhist culture/population. It would be nice to let the Burmese be Burmese for a change.

And how do sea lanes improve digital connectivity?

They can use the massive hotels in Dubai as infrastructure

So Xi skipped this meeting because of this corridor? Does that fall under ‘hurt China’s feelings’?

the time to do it would have bene under Trump like he was doing, rather than cut him off at every turn.

The global south is looking for an alternative to Western hegemony. That’s part of the story in the multiple coups in Africa. The west has treated these Nations shabby for decades post independence. Western Corp whether US or European backed by Western Govt have basically plundered these areas in a neo Mercantile manner and been more than willing to cozy up to dictators to keep the oil, gas, diamonds, rare earth metals flowing to them.

For all the happy talk about post colonialism not a whole lot actually changed on the ground in these areas for the average person. Most of them remained poor with the only changes being who the boss was and what the bosses/management’s take was. Instead of a colonial it swapped to a local strongman. The average folks in these areas are pushing back in their version of complaints v Rich men North of Richmond.

Sooner or later the dam will break and the post WWII era of US led western hegemony will end. These Nations will be eagerly seeking partners who won’t be as exploitive and either the Western Govt and corporations will win that actual competition or the BRICS model just may grow in power as an alternative to the financial hegemony the West, US in particular, currently benefits from.

    The Chinese imperial colonial version of western colonial imperialism in Africa died, it never even climbed out of the crib. Belt and Road is a massive failure. Only thing left of the project being the original inertia. All have forfeited.

    There is no savior. There is no pan-African populist pushback, no version of a ruddy-faced Oliver singing songs of social protest.

    The global south? India is forever an enemy of China. The China-Russia alliance is a joke perpetuated by self-serving western market money managers and anti war rightist fear-mongers.

      docduracoat in reply to Tiki. | September 11, 2023 at 9:54 am

      If those countries aren’t happy with the current post colonial regime, just wait till they enjoy their slavery to China.
      Just ask the average Burmese or Pakistani how their government partnering with China is helping them

      CommoChief in reply to Tiki. | September 11, 2023 at 10:52 am

      You might want to take a look at the recent successful coups in Gabon and Niger as well as two years ago in Guinea Chad and Mali. There is a strong strain of populist nationalism running through much of the global South. Victoria Nuland Deplorables Sec State and IMO chief neocon globalist cheerleader was widely reported as having her requests rebuffed by other Nations and was described as caught flat footed/stunned that this was so.

      These folks know they were still being screwed by neo Mercantile policies enforced by the military of the Western powers to serve the financial and economic interests of Western Nations. Can’t really blame them b/c it’s true. It’s their families in those mines pulling out rare earth metals among other things for pennies. All the while the Western powers cooperated with previous dictators to keep them flowing.

      IMO many people underestimate the potential for resource rich Nations to demand and get a better deal for their population. This will impose serious costs that Western Corp and govt have long sought to avoid. Add to this the foolish sanctions on Russia’s participation in the international financial settlement system SWIFT and worse the confiscation of Russian govt monetary reserves held abroad. Other Nations see these things and naturally wonder if they might be next.

      Its bigger than China. It’s the potential for the creation of an alternative international financial system outside the control of the West and trade settlement not conducted in USD but another currency or in direct exchange of resources/goods among these Nations. The bones of alternative systems are being created and used now by the Nations not respecting sanctions on Russia. FWIW only 46 Nations have signed on to the sanctions regime, the rest of the world is ignoring them and looking for alternatives to Western domination of international financial systems.

retiredcantbefired | September 10, 2023 at 10:56 pm

If the shipping has to run from India to the UAE, doesn’t it have to pass through the Strait of Hormuz?

What will the ayatollahs end up doing about that?