Strate­gic sig­nif­i­cance of CPEC

People's Review - - COMMENTARY - BY ALI

The geo­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion of a coun­try de­ter­mines its role in the world pol­i­tics. It de­notes that crit­i­cally how ben­e­fi­cial or non-ben­e­fi­cial one coun­try is to the oth­ers in terms of the so­cial, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal as­pects. Strate­gi­cally, Pak­istan is lo­cated at a very sig­nif­i­cant geo-strate­gic place on the globe. It is si­t­u­ated at the junc­ture of en­ergy pro­fi­cient to the en­ergy de­fi­cient coun­tries. The geo-strate­gic im­por­tance of Pak­istan is ev­i­dent from the fact that it is bor­dered by the emerg­ing eco­nomic gi­ants of the world i.e. In­dia and China, and by the coun­tries rich in abun­dant nat­u­ral re­sources i.e. Afghanistan and Iran. His­tor­i­cally it is ev­i­dent that the very con­cept of a cor­ri­dor has been a cause of de­vel­op­ment in parts of the world. Eco­nomic cor­ri­dors have emerged in the re­cent years as an im­por­tant tool of re­gional co­op­er­a­tion, in­te­gra­tion and de­vel­op­ment in a glob­al­ized world un­der rec­i­proc­ity. China as be­ing the neigh­bour of South Asia has a spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance in en­hanc­ing the agenda of con­struc­tive en­gage­ments, which is now ev­i­dent from the ac­tive in­volve­ment of Chi­nese lead­er­ship in South Asian re­gion. The strate­gic bonds be­tween Pak­istan and China have been on an up­ward tra­jec­tory with moved thrust on eco­nomic in­ter­ac­tion af­ter the ini­ti­a­tion of CPEC. CPEC is a fu­tur­is­tic so­ciopo­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic ob­ject ori­ented di­men­sion of Pak­istan in the 21st Cen­tury. This multi-di­men­sional project has opened new vis­tas of Pak­istan’s re­bal­anc­ing op­tions from geo-pol­i­tics to geo-eco­nomics. CPEC, to safe­guard com­mon in­ter­ests and mu­tual ben­e­fits, epit­o­mizes a model of co­op­er­a­tion, co­or­di­na­tion and strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween China and Pak­istan to strengthen con­nec­tiv­ity in ar­eas of trade and econ­omy with states in the re­gion to ful­fill grow­ing en­ergy re­quire­ments and en­hance ex­ports. Pak­istan’s lead­er­ship pro­nounces the CPEC as a game changer for Pak­istan and the re­gion at large. Along with CPEC, Pak­istan will turn into a com­mer­cial hub in South and Cen­tral Asia, an axis of the re­gional trade. CPEC would in­ter-link South Asia, Cen­tral Asia, North Africa and Gulf States in terms of eco­nomic and en­ergy col­lab­o­ra­tion. China has been in­ter­ested in the de­vel­op­ment of a di­rect crude oil pipe­line from Gwadar in Pak­istan to Xin­jiang in China through CPEC. With the op­er­a­tional­iza­tion of Gwadar Port, all the trade to and from land­locked Cen­tral Asian Republics (CARs) can be taken on the short­est avail­able route via Gwadar due to which the trade ben­e­fits to Pak­istan may be ex­pected to mul­ti­ply. Pak­istan could be able to be­come ma­jor world chan­nel for petro-chem­i­cal trade which will stim­u­late its eco­nomic pro­gres­sion. More­over, the Baluchis­tan Prov­ince in Pak­istan will be­come sub­stan­tial for re­gional amal­ga­ma­tion. Gwadar Port has a rare dif­fer­ence of be­ing only one of the few points where ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) would in­ter­sect. There­fore, it is im­per­a­tive that Pak­istan should deal op­ti­misti­cally with all the chal­lenges in con­struc­tion of CPEC and may con­vert this golden op­por­tu­nity into an eco­nomic cer­tainty. Re­gard­less of the im­por­tance of CPEC for Pak­istan, there are other di­men­sions too. It has also ex­cep­tional im­pli­ca­tions for China and its fu­ture role of emerg­ing as a great power at the global level. China con­sid­ers re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity as a cen­tral el­e­ment and first step to rise at global level. Pres­i­dent Xi of China dur­ing his ad­dress to For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee at Com­mu­nist Party meet­ing in 2014 said that we will give pri­or­ity to our neigh­bours in our diplo­macy on all fronts. While, other part of pol­icy is to build re­la­tions with de­vel­op­ing coun­tries hav­ing abun­dance of nat­u­ral re­sources, in­clud­ing en­ergy rich, coun­tries. It will help China to be branded as the de­vel­op­ment part­ner and non-in­ter­fer­ing ally in the comity of na­tions. Counter bal­anc­ing the Pivot to Asia Pol­icy de­signed by the US to con­tain and en­cir­cle China with an al­liance in­clud­ing In­dia, Viet­nam, South Korea, Japan, Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore and the Philip­pines. This Cor­ri­dor will serve as a sub­sti­tute route for Chi­nese trade, thereby al­low­ing China to out­wit the threat of a block­ade of Chi­nese oil sup­plies through the Strait of Malacca by the USA and al­lied navies in the wake of a fu­ture war in Asia. CPEC will strengthen the strate­gic al­liance be­tween Pak­istan and China as it would seem prob­a­ble to ex­ac­er­bate the dis­pute be­tween Pak­istan and In­dia. China pro­motes the hope that CPEC and its eco­nomic im­pact will also con­trib­ute to the trans­for­ma­tion of Pak­istani so­ci­ety and the con­sol­i­da­tion of mod­er­ate forces. China be­lieves that peace­ful progress in Pak­istan would have in turn a pos­i­tive ef­fect on the re­gion about the sit­u­a­tion in Afghanistan. The CPEC will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for rein­vig­o­ra­tion of Pak­istan’s eco­nomic struc­ture, pre­dom­i­nantly through the de­vel­op­ment of its en­ergy sec­tor and by en­cour­ag­ing a greater con­nec­tiv­ity. CPEC is dis­parag­ingly im­por­tant for both coun­tries. Pak­istan needs it to over­come its so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment and en­ergy con­cerns, while on the other hand China de­sires it to en­large its pe­riph­ery of in­flu­ence, con­sol­i­date its global ex­is­tence and safe­guard­ing its fu­ture sup­ply routes of en­ergy and trade goods. It is im­por­tant to point out that the con­cept was es­tab­lished by China, as be­ing part of its “Go Global 2001” pol­icy. Pak­istan can be one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Chi­nese dream of eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion at the re­gional level. There­fore, it is ad­vis­able for Pak­istan to re­main con­cen­trated on the de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try rather than wast­ing time on in­con­se­quen­tial is­sues. Provin­cial­ism should not be given the chance to take over the de­vel­op­ment agenda by any stake­holder, in­clud­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. China has taken over con­trol of Gwadar Port for a 40 years’ lease, and started to de­velop the deep sea­port into one of the most up-to-date and pro­gres­sive sea­ports of the world. Gwadar Port will have a huge stor­age of cargo and ship­ment han­dling fa­cil­i­ties and many ship­yards. The Gwadar port will func­tion as a tail of the New Silk Road, which would con­nect China’s Kash­gar re­gion to the dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ca­tional net­works of the re­gion. It holds an es­sen­tial po­si­tion in the CPEC ven­ture that it has been si­t­u­ated close to the Strait of Hor­muz, through which about 40 of the world’s oil sup­ply is flowed. Gwadar as a key ship­ping point could play a key role in safe­guard­ing Chi­nese in­ter­ests of en­ergy se­cu­rity by pro­vid­ing a much shorter route than the cur­rent 12,900 Km route from the Per­sian Gulf through the Strait of Malacca to Chi­nese East­ern Seaboard. The port is en­vi­sioned to the trans­for­ma­tion of Pak­istan into a cen­ter of com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties among the en­ergy rich Gulf and Cen­tral Asian States, Afghanistan and China, by of­fer­ing the Pak­istan Navy with strate­gic depth be­side its coast as a mar­itime base.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nepal

© PressReader. All rights reserved.