News

India Begins to Rebuild World War II Road

India has started rebuilding a historic 60-year-old road linking its remote northeast region to southwest China. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, the route eventually could help boost trade among India, China and Southeast Asian countries.

The Stilwell Road is a winding 1700 kilometer route hacked out of jungles during the World War II to link India's northeastern state of Assam to China's Yunnan province via Burma.

It was built with the help of American military engineers to allow the Allied Army to move troops and supplies to China, then reeling under Japanese occupation. Soon after the war ended, the road fell into disuse.

The route could now get a second lease of life, this time for trade and transport between the world's two fastest growing economies.

Indian officials in northeastern Assam say India has started rebuilding its side of the road, a 61-kilometer stretch to Burma.

Assam state officials say a four-lane highway will be ready within six months. They say talks are on between the three countries to speed up opening of the road for cross-border trade.

The momentum to open new border routes between India and China began a few years ago as political and trade ties warmed steadily. Last year, the two countries opened their first land trade route through a Himalayan pass known as Nathu La (between the Indian state of Sikkim and Tibet).

An expert on Indian-Chinese affairs at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, Alka Acharya, says there is a broad push to increase trade and other links between the two countries.

"We are thinking in terms of two other passes which would be opened up for trade, and Stilwell has a history, and it is clearly part of the broader connectivity which is happening at a very rapid pace," she said. "This would open up a huge area for cross border connectivity."

China has already completed work on its side of the road. Burma is getting financial help from Beijing to rebuild its stretch.

In India, the push to open the Stilwell Road is coming from the northeast - a landlocked, underdeveloped area far removed from India's economic hubs in the north and the west. Officials in Assam hope the road will eventually make the region a gateway to China and Southeast Asia, and boost its economy.

Trade between India and China is increasing at a rapid pace, China is now India's second largest trading partner. India also wants to increase economic links with Southeast Asian countries.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs