India Today - - COVER STORY -

China sees CPEC as serv­ing two pur­poses: shoring up the tee­ter­ing econ­omy of its close ally which will also en­sure a sta­ble western pe­riph­ery for China, and pro­vid­ing an out­let for its en­ter­prises, strug­gling with over­ca­pac­ity at home, to move projects over­seas en masse. For China’s plan­ners, the project also has strate­gic value in se­cur­ing ac­cess to the Ara­bian Sea for en­ergy im­ports, al­le­vi­at­ing their ‘Malacca Dilemma’—long per­sist­ing fears that a ri­val power could block the nar­row Malacca Straits and hold the Chi­nese econ­omy hostage.

Chi­nese of­fi­cials are at pains to point out that CPEC isn’t just empty talk. Ac­cord­ing to Zhao Li­jian,


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