Significance and Security of CPEC: A Pakistani Perspective
The China-pakistan Economic Corridor aspires to put Pakistan on a new trajectory of high growth through infrastructure development, and the benefits are likely to amplify and spread throughout the region. Success of this project, however, is highly dependent upon Pakistan’s internal security situation and how it manages its relations with India.
China’s economic expansion has generated a sense of optimism throughout South Asia. It’s a region beset with armed conflicts, impoverishment and massive unemployment. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), originally known as One Belt One Road, opens new vistas for Afghanistan to maximize her economic potential as a transit state connecting South and Central Asia. Bangladesh welcomes the shift in global center of economic gravity from west towards east and sees this as an opportunity to restore her historic connectivity with China.1 The Sri Lankan polity, initially divided over the role of China, has come to recognize that the BRI fits well with Colombo’s goals of rebuilding a war-torn economy through enhanced connectivity that facilitates increased trade.2 Nepal is also prepared to develop cross-border road and railway connectivity with China. With antiindian sentiments running unprecedentedly high in Nepal, the landlocked nation wants to reduce its dependence on India. Maldives perceives China as a counter-weight to the “Western colonial powers” bent upon altering the Islamic identity of the small island nation.3
Most importantly for Pakistan, the Chinese-financed mega developmental