China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - Highlights and role in strengthening bilateral ties

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - Highlights and role in strengthening bilateral ties

Question - India has not voiced concerns about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor announced recently. Discuss the highlights of the corridor and its role in deepening bilateral ties between China and Pakistan.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Highlights

• Formal inauguration of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has taken place recently

• Money received by Pakistan for this project from China is greater than twice the amount of FDI Pakistan has received since 2008

• It is also more than the entire assistance from the US which was Pakistan’s largest donor in 2002

• Project will take between 1 to 3 years to complete while infrastructure projects could take between 10 to 15 years to finish

• Investment will be concentrated on China Pakistan Economic Corridor/CPEC

• CPEC is a blend of transport and energy projects and development of major deep sea sport providing direct access to the Indian Ocean and further

• Job creation and economic growth will be indirect benefits of this project by Pakistan

• This marks the first opportunity for Pakistan to change its economic geography since the 1960 Indus Water Treaty

• CPEC starts in Gwadar and ends at Kashgar; Gwadar is on the Arabia sea coast of the province of Balochistan in south west Pakistan

• Construction at Gwadar has begun more than one decade ago

• Kashgar is situated in China’s Muslim majority Turkish speaking Xinjiang region

• Populated mainly by ethnic Uighur Muslims, this province has been home to separatist movements as well

• Between Gwadar and Kashgar, CPEC passes through areas within reach of Taliban insurgents

• The super highway will emerge from the restive Balochistan region though.

• A special Pakistani force will be raised to safeguard the 3,000 km corridor

CPEC: Deepening of Bilateral Ties

• China’s friendship with Pakistan has been described as higher than the Himalayas, deeper than oceans and many other symbolic metaphors.

• Bilateral ties through CPEC are designed to allow protection of interests

• Route will enable China to bypass Malacca straits to reach the Middle East and Africa

• China has also turned out to be the most reliable supplier of military hardware as against the US; this gives it an advantage as an ally for Pakistan against India

• Pakistan is showing it has deep ties with China to volatile allies such as the US

• CPEC also has geo-strategic significance; the corridor through Gwadar provides shortest access to Middle East and Africa where Chinese nationals are busy working

• Corridor also opens up landlocked Xinjiang and provides incentives for job creation and economic activity

• China is also able to utilise the maritime route as against the one through the Malacca straits which is longer and can be blocked during war

• China is also interested in an eastern corridor through Bay of Bengal for this reason

• Increasing the influence over the region through maritime routes and deepening of stable friendship are the twin objectives of CPEC for China and Pakistan

• Through the corridor from Kashgar in Xinjiang, China will fund a point of access in the Indian Ocean region at the virtual ti-junction of West Asia, Africa and South Asia

• President Xi’s latest visit to Pakistan has laid the foundation for new geopolitical realities

Facts and Stats

• The ambitious CPEC project will absorb investments of USD 45 billion over the next 15 years

• It will also establish transport and energy infrastructure and lay the foundation for numerous industrial parks and small cities

• It will turn Pakistan into a tiger economy, according to analysts
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  • RE: China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) - Highlights and role in strengthening bilateral ties -NASIR RIAZ (01/04/21)
  • This article highlights salient features of CPEC. Closer look at these points clearly shows its not a win-win situation. It is rather more beneficial to China then Pakistan. Pakistan suffers from huge trade deficit which is mother of all its economic problems. 30% of this trade deficit in only with China.
    CPEC is promising many things except it is silent on how it will help Pakistan to boost its exports and achieve trade surplus.
    CPEC basic aim is to provide quick and easy transit to Chines exports through Gwadar port towards Africa, The Middle East, South East Asian, and European markets. No where it is seen this can benefit Pakistan exports. There is no mention of any development of export oriented industry within or around the areas of CPEC.
    Simple providing the infrastructure and job opportunities for local labor will not solve Pakistan's acute problems of trade deficit. I think it is about time that Pakistan should review terms of CPEC with China and include provision which can directly benefit Pakistan's exports.