India Bans Chinese Firms from Highway Projects
July 3, 2020 (EIRNS)—Shortly following his nation’s ban of 59 Chinese apps (including TikTok), Indian Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced on July 1 that Chinese companies, including those operating in joint ventures with Indian firms, will not be allowed to construct roads in India. He said that prequalification requirements will be eased, if necessary, to allow Indian contractors to bid without teaming up with foreign firms.
Chinese companies are not as active in Indian infrastructure as they are in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but this move signals an end to the investment and cooperation sought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his first term, when he prioritized infrastructure development.
Between 2014 and 2017, China pledged billions of dollars for infrastructure in India, and Chinese companies bid for big metro and bridge projects. Until this and similar policies are reversed, that era of burgeoning cooperation appears to be over.