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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

China Pakistan Economic Corridor: Challenges and
Prospects

Introduction:- 

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – the latest enterprise  in the history of bilateral economic cooperation, invested $ 46  billion in energy and infrastructure development in Pakistan is  seen as a game changer in the Pakistani economy. The corridor will connect a 2,000-kilometer transport link between Kashgar in  northwestern China to Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian  Sea near the border with Iran via roads, railways and pipelines. Currently the first phase of CPEC has been completed and now  the second phase has begun. The CPEC could play a key role in  the future direction of the Pakistani economy. 

CHINA CENTRIC NEW WORLD ORDER

CPEC is the heart of one belt one road initiative. The Belt and  Road Initiative (BRI), formerly known as the One Belt One Road,  is a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese  government in 2013 that includes infrastructure development  and investment in nearly 70 countries. CPEC is a part of the BRI  that includes Pakistan and China in building the economic  corridor. The corridor will connect Kashgar in northwestern  China with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea near the  border with Iran via roads, railways, and pipelines. It will improve  the economy and trade, improve regional connectivity,  overcome electricity problems, improve infrastructure, and  establish people-to-people connections in both countries.

Major Components of CPEC:- CPEC contains projects aimed  at building energy, communication, industrial zones, agriculture, tourism, Gwadar port, and connectivity infrastructure.

Challenges in the development of CPEC:- 

Pakistan faces a number of challenges in implementing the  China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. These  challenges can be seen as external and internal. Some of the key 

Challenges in the Corridor’s successful completion are political  unrest, security situations, and administrative issues.  

CPEC and Balochistan Factor: – 

Ethno-sectarianism is another important cause of the Balochistan  uprising as if this were not enough for keeping Balochistan tense,  controversy over China Pakistan Economic Corridor project  (CPEC) has added more fuel to the blaze.

China’s Energy Crisis  

CPEC and Tax and Power Tariff Issues:- 

China has expressed grave concern over the issue of tax,  electricity tariffs and electricity price with Pakistan and the  process of implementing the China Pakistan Economic Corridor  (CPEC) energy project in Pakistan. 

CPEC Security Threats in Pakistan:- 

As a leading BRI program, CPEC security is of paramount importance to both China and Pakistan. Providing and ensuring  the safety of Chinese workers and project sites is an important challenge for Pakistan. 

Climate Change: Existential Threat to Pakistan

Indian Reservation about CPEC:- 

India is wary of growing relations between Pakistan and China  and views CPEC as a threat. CPEC faces a major challenge from its rivals. One of the challenges for CPEC is the growth of  relations between India and Iran, which see CPEC as their  competition. In this regard, India has assisted Iran to develop the Chabahar port and established a railway line through Afghanistan, providing port services to Central Asia and  Afghanistan for the transportation of its goods. 

Prospects for CPEC:- 

Economic Development: – 

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor will help build a strong and  stable economy in Pakistan and will open up a great opportunity  for Pakistan to revitalize its industry and develop its economic  interests. 

Peace and prosperity in the provinces: – 

CPEC is not just a road name, port and a railway system but a  massive multi-dollar project that will bring peace and prosperity  to all the provinces of Pakistan. 

Infrastructure development: – 

Infrastructure development including the development of roads,  ports and highways is another important part of CPEC. The  project will basically improve Pakistan’s infrastructure  connectivity with all regions of Asia, and between Europe Asia  and Africa step-by-step and will remove all investment and trade  barriers to build a strong business environment in the region and  all related countries. 

• The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor program will help  Pakistan become one of the most important countries in the  region. Pakistan has played a major role in South Asia. After the  completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor economic, the 

the geostrategic environment will improve in Pakistan. It will help  Pakistan in tackling the problems of poverty, unemployment,  and inequality in underdeveloped provinces. 

• China and Pakistan have developed strong trade and economic  relations and cooperation over the years. China has gradually  emerged as Pakistan’s main trading partner both in terms of  exports and imports. The Corridor will also assist in creating  regional stability in South Asia. After the completion of the  Corridor, it will serve as the main gateway to trade between  China and Africa and the Middle East.  

Following the completion of the CPEC, Pakistan could become a  regional trade hub after Gwadar Port became fully operational  and tax-free economic zones. Many Central Asian provinces have  also expressed interest in becoming part of the Corridor. This  strategic partnership between Pakistan and China has angered  India which has openly expressed its opposition

• The CPEC of all aspects will prove that it has changed and will  make China a real stakeholder in Pakistan’s stability and security. It is a win-win situation for both. China’s investment  will boost Pakistan’s GDP. Corresponding progress and  prosperity in Pakistan and China’s support will help Pakistan  remove the ten-year-old label ‘epicentre of terrorism’, ‘the most  dangerous country’, and the ‘failing state’. China’s economic and  military assistance will go a long way in helping Pakistan to  reduce the ever-growing gap in economic military nuclear fields with India and in improving its defense capabilities.

• Corridor (CPEC) will benefit all the provinces of Pakistan. The CPEC is not limited to just a road, but it will connect the country  with some motorways and infrastructure projects. Infrastructure  projects include Gwadar port, phase 2 development project  Karakoram Highway, motorway project between Karachi and  Lahore, Thakot Havelian motorway, Gwadar port expressway,  Gwadar international airport, and Karachi-Sukkur motorway. 

• The CPEC project will also provide an opportunity for Pakistan  to normalize relations with India, Iran, and Afghanistan that will  maintain equality, strengthen prospects for peace and improve  the socio-economic status of the region. CPEC is a game changer  that will lift millions of Pakistanis out of poverty and misery.

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