Published On: Mon, Apr 16th, 2018

Regional impact of CPEC in terms of foreign policy – Part 1

CPEC Belt & Road

By Asal Khan Kakar

China Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) is an economic project which was signed by Pakistan and china in April 2015. It is commonly in infrastructural development and is termed the game changer or fate changer for Pakistan. As China is investing in Pakistan through CPEC project total money of about $46 billion US, it is going to bring major developmental changes in Pakistan. It is said that after the 9/11 US aid which was given to Pakistan. The time of the project in the terms of local economic environment and global economic environment is very beneficial. It is a huge injection to the Pakistani economy which is hit by terrorism, corruption and major security threats. As it has also the global importance because of the Middle Eastern countries  and they can transport their product to the Asian countries and China will export its product to Middle Eastern countries.

It is a win-win situation both for China and Pakistan, as both countries took advantages from the project. The CPEC is a 3000km long network which includes highways, railways, expressways which will connect Gwadar to the city of Kashghar. It is the part of “Silk road economic belt” which is to connect the China with Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The CPEC has some major keys which is the development of Gwadar port, roads building, and also in industrial and energy sectors developments. As the main concern of CPEC is on the transportation so it’s more focus is on the building of roads. In CPEC project the roads have been given two routes one is the eastern route and the other is the western route. As we are more concerned about the profit of CPEC but we forget about some of its drawback. It has produced many challenges to the country. As in regional context the war on terror, Baluch insurgency, the role of foreign countries like that of the Afghanistan and India in the states become more and more.

With the increasing globalization of world Pakistan and china are also looking for the bright future and to increase mutual economic relationship. In this regard CPEC is a great achievement for both the countries which not only strengthens the strategic and economic partnership of both countries but will reach it to new heights. CPEC is mutually beneficial project for both the countries and is win-win situation for both countries. It is very important in the regional connectivity and also improving trade with the Middle East, Africa, and central Asia. As CPEC is composed of roads, routes and tracks so it will enhance the regional connectivity with the neighboring countries. It is to be said that CPEC is a geo-strategic plan and which is an economic blessing for the whole region. But this project may be dangerous for some countries as due to political and strategic interest.

In the future, CPEC will change the geo-political and strategic landscape of Asia and will greatly influence the economic outlook of the regional states. It is to be expected that millions of people will benefit from this project as bit will boost the economic activities, increase trade linkages, enhance technical cooperation, amply socioeconomic activity and generate new financial opportunities ,however,  this idea of CPEC putting into reality will face many challenges as some regional and extra regional actors may not want to complete this project as a threat to their interest. (To be continued)

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