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CPEC 2.0: full speed ahead

ghazi52

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CPEC 2.0: full speed ahead


27 Jul 2020

A HOST of geopolitical developments may breathe new life into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that was perceived to be running out of steam since the PTI government assumed power in 2018.

Covid-19 has caused disruptions around the world this year, but CPEC-related activities appeared tepid even before the pandemic struck.

CPEC-watchers see the launch of two hydel power projects in quick succession in Azad Kashmir and a special economic zone (SEZ) in Faisalabad this month as early signs of the rejuvenation of the multi-billion-dollar programme. To remove roadblocks and ensure timely progress, the government is also working on the CPEC Authority Bill 2020 that will further empower the dedicated authority created last year.

Regional realignments and the changing dynamics in the Middle East, West and South Asia may work in Pakistan’s favour. The oil shock and greater realisation in the Arab world of a shared future seem to be drawing even the hostile nations closer. Iran under US sanctions has drifted closer to China vis-à-vis India for being undeterred by an aggressive US stance. The Afghan peace process is moving despite minor setbacks. The pandemic and border tension with China have compromised India’s capacity to irritate Pakistan. All these developments are said to be conducive for CPEC progress.

Talking to Dawn earlier, PTI leaders dismissed the perception about Chinese reluctance, insisting that it is peddled by its political opponents and the forces hostile to Pakistan. Chinese diplomats in Pakistan repeated the official position of being committed to the Belt and Road Initiative of which CPEC is a key component.

Independent experts found the assumption that the Chinese prefer a particular political party in Pakistan baseless

Despite official positioning, the visibility of Chinese nationals in Pakistan is not the same as it was in 2016–18. The circulation of Chinese officials, experts and staff was noticeable in government departments and ministries, hotels, airports, shopping malls, etc. Chinese sources admit that the inflow of visitors from China has declined, but they insist that about 13,000 Chinese working on CPEC projects are still in Pakistan. It is also true that the pace of Chinese investment did wane after the initial injection of about $40 billion in multiple power and infrastructure projects and Gwadar Port. China intended to invest $62bn in Pakistan over 15 years under CPEC that was launched in April 2015.

“There might be some glitches here and there, but broadly the work on the first phase progressed smoothly. The exit of the PML-N or the entry of the PTI in Islamabad did not affect it. The first phase targeted to close the logistic and energy gaps in Pakistan that blunted development efforts. Many projects of the first phase have completed and the rest are in different stages of development.

“The graduation to the second phase may not be swift, but the interaction between the two sides started in 2019. It spanned industrial, trade and social development sectors, involving a greater participation of the private sector and civil society organisations in both Pakistan and China. The second phase may be less capital-intensive, but it is definitely more complex. Besides, the IMF and FATF affairs did consume the PTI government’s attention in 2018-19 and the health emergency sapped its energy and resources in the first half of 2020. Still we were not off course on CPEC,” a top official associated with CPEC shared his views on the condition of anonymity.

Independent experts admitted that China reacted to the demand of revisiting the agreed-upon deals by some PTI leaders. But they found the assumption of Chinese preference for a particular political party in Pakistan baseless. “Historically, China has been supportive of the country irrespective of the internal power dynamics,” commented one. Others attributed Chinese coldness after the initial euphoria to the challenges that China encountered in Pakistan while dealing with a fractured system. Some blamed the downward swing in the economy that took the sheen off the shiny multi-billion-dollar CPEC programme for Chinese annoyance.

“Compared with the past, there is a notable decline in enthusiasm amongst nations for extraterritorial port projects. In particular, entering the second phase of the One Belt One Road, China has been served a rude dose of reality. Managing trade flows through an offshore port, they are realising it is not just a one-time engineering challenge. It involves constant political gymnastics with stakeholders from across the spectrum.

“While India promoted Chabahar as a competitor to Gwadar, they built it with a narrow goal in mind: winning reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. Since President Trump rescinded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal and tightened sanctions, the Chabahar post has been a big question mark. Despite exception granted to India for using Iran as a conduit, no major contractor in Afghanistan, fearful of getting blacklisted by the United States, was willing to risk using Chabahar. Unless Iran is brought back into the economic mainstream, it is unlikely that the port will pick up steam again.

“With Chabahar now officially on hold, Gwadar has emerged as the only viable supply point for Central Asia. CPEC future depends significantly on the success of various foreign-funded infrastructure projects in this landlocked region, and continued enthusiasm of leaders of Central Asian States for opening their economies to the world,” said Dr Ameem Lutfi, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore.

“The evolving geopolitical situation is a plus for CPEC. The Afghan peace process, China’s entry into Iran and India’s exit from Chabahar will help secure our borders and strengthen CPEC.

“Regarding suspicions over China’s enthusiasm for CPEC, the assumption is factually incorrect. In fact, there is renewed vigour in CPEC with two new hydel projects announced in Azad Kashmir. As for the Gwadar Port, it is a centrepiece of CPEC. Its development is transformative for Balochistan. The reservations of Baloch insurgents stem from suspicions, failed and flawed policies of the past and propaganda of hostile external forces,” commented Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee.



Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, July 27th, 2020
 

-blitzkrieg-

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This was all something we were supposed to do on our own in past 50 years..it was not supposed to be part of some marshall plan.

There's little time and a long list of things..some of them might take another 50 years.. Things like Khunjerab rail link to China or gwadar afghanistan rail link..
 

vi-va

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This was all something we were supposed to do on our own in past 50 years..it was not supposed to be part of some marshall plan.

There's little time and a long list of things..some of them might take another 50 years.. Things like Khunjerab rail link to China or gwadar afghanistan rail link..
Pakistan should think about Grand Picture of your Strategic Location. CPEC should be starter of Pakistan Economy Engine, and discover Pakistan greatest Potential.
When Pakistan is strong enough, with the alliance with China. India will regret their historical and unforgiving mistakes they made.
 

-blitzkrieg-

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Pakistan should think about Grand Picture of your Strategic Location. CPEC should be starter of Pakistan Economy Engine, and discover Pakistan greatest Potential.
When Pakistan is strong enough, with the alliance with China. India will regret their historical and unforgiving mistakes they made.
After hundred slaps and hundred onions(a Pakistani saying), India will at the end of day join China...however there are very few countries like Pakistan who have trusted Chinese competence from the beginning ( going against the popular realpolitik wave).
 

vi-va

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After hundred slaps and hundred onions(a Pakistani saying), India will at the end of day join China...however there are very few countries like Pakistan who have trusted Chinese competence from the beginning ( going against the popular realpolitik wave).
Pakistan-China friendship is time honored.
If we failed to contain India, both Pakistan and China will suffer for the long run. If we succeeded, India will have to back to the table and negotiate with a lower hand.
It's the Pakistan-China alliance made South Asian Subcontinent balanced and get India checked.
All other smaller nations, such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and even Maldives are beneficiaries of this alliance.

The next important things I believe:
  1. Fence the west side of Pakistan. China will definitely leverage our resource to stabilize Pakistan-Iran relationship, and all surrendering countries should safe guard Afghanistan, it's in Pakistanis interest. Wipe out India influence in Afghanistan.
  2. Strengthen Pakistan relationship with Nepal, Sri Lanka and especially Bangladesh.
 
Last edited:

Vikram1

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After hundred slaps and hundred onions(a Pakistani saying), India will at the end of day join China...however there are very few countries like Pakistan who have trusted Chinese competence from the beginning ( going against the popular realpolitik wave).
We dnt need slap from USA or China just like you do, we can run our own country without aid or free money.
You can surrender infornt of China on Muslims issue because of money they giving you. So much for muslim brotherhood and content crying for Indian muslims.
Any agreement or project should be on mutual respect not like yours. Your army/government can't even show the agreement they did with China.

So enjoy your so called friendship and CPEC that comes with so much conditions (I heard that loans for CPEC is about 7-8% interest, and India building its strategic projects with 0.1% interest rate) Please do not show worry about India we can handle our own country well without selling out our country.
 

-blitzkrieg-

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We dnt need slap from USA or China just like you do, we can run our own country without aid or free money.
You can surrender infornt of China on Muslims issue because of money they giving you. So much for muslim brotherhood and content crying for Indian muslims.
Any agreement or project should be on mutual respect not like yours. Your army/government can't even show the agreement they did with China.
you are one of the biggest receivers of aid money. apart from loans..

you just got grants from World Bank to contain corona.. worth $1 Billion

as for agreements..we dont reveal our cards to the world.our sovereign right.
 

vi-va

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We dnt need slap from USA or China just like you do, we can run our own country without aid or free money.
You can surrender infornt of China on Muslims issue because of money they giving you. So much for muslim brotherhood and content crying for Indian muslims.
Any agreement or project should be on mutual respect not like yours. Your army/government can't even show the agreement they did with China.
India is Muslim lover. :o:
Lock down Kashmir for 1 year, and not ended yet.

India is an artificial country.
 

Vikram1

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India is Muslim lover. :o:
Lock down Kashmir for 1 year, and not ended yet.

India is an artificial country.
No China is biggest Muslim lover, I hope every country follow your model to deal with minority. Afterwards Pakistan will also praise Indian handling of Muslims just like they praising you day in and day out.
 

Hakikat ve Hikmet

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Elhamdulillah!! It couldn't have come at a a better time:
  • Bastards from Hiduntva/RSS/BJP/Congress/Gandhis etc. are all under the wheels
  • Persians are Bazari enough to smell the Chinese money to dump the Indians without the blink of an eye
  • NA/NDS etc. thugs' are on the borrowed time, thanks to the 2nd Afgan Victory in the last 40 years
  • President Trump and the Deep Whites he represents are firing in all cylinders to shrug off the "LOSER" banner. Not a cent from the USA for any outside scums, who need to pay 1K times for a single favor. MBS/MBZ etc. are the templates
  • IK is now the "solo" face of the both Deep State and Deep Nation of Pak
  • Pak is increasingly tightening the noose around the domestic traitor terrorist scums
  • etc.
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
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Elhamdulillah!! It couldn't have come at a a better time:
  • Bastards from Hiduntva/RSS/BJP/Congress/Gandhis etc. are all under the wheels
  • Persians are Bazari enough to smell the Chinese money to dump the Indians without the blink of an eye
  • NA/NDS etc. thugs' are on the borrowed time, thanks to the 2nd Afgan Victory in the last 40 years
  • President Trump and the Deep Whites he represents are firing in all cylinders to shrug off the "LOSER" banner. Not a cent from the USA for any outside scums, who need to pay 1K times for a single favor. MBS/MBZ etc. are the templates
  • IK is now the "solo" face of the both Deep State and Deep Nation of Pak
  • Pak is increasingly tightening the noose around the domestic traitor terrorist scums
  • etc.
True
 

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