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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