By Anusha Majumdar
CPEC (or China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) is an infrastructure project comprising of 3,000 km network of roads, rails and pipelines between the Pakistan’s Gwadar Port to Kashgar city, situated in Xinjiang province of China.
Several economists have pointed how CPEC is an alternative to China’s current route of sourcing trade from the Middle East and Africa. CPEC will thus, be a stepping stone for China’s dream of bringing the ancient Silk Road back to life.
MAJOR BOOST TO PAKISTAN’S ECONOMY
This $54 Billion infrastructure project constructed by China is purported to be a lifeline to the debt-ridden Pakistan, known as a failed nation and a terror-exporting hub.
On a lighter vein, Pak is known to be run by three A’s – Army, Allah and America. Looks like the third A is replaced by C- China.
This project is expected to generate employment to nearly 2.5 million Pakistanis and will raise its GDP by at least 2.5 % over its current level.
The Infra corridor will also come with a string of power generation plants and railway networks for seamless movement of goods from China to the Arabian Sea.
Hopefully, it keeps occupied, an average Pakistani from attending the Campus selections of employers of global repute like Al Qaeda, ISIS, Lashkar e Taiba who are apostles of peace!! Better than that, it keeps such ‘graduates’ from entering our own Kashmir!
Pakistan on its part wants investments to shore up its flagging economy. It is treated as a pariah in the International community as a nation exporting terror and China is the only nation which is ready to invest heavily therein.
IS CHINESE DRAGON CHOKING THE INDIAN ELEPHANT IN ITS DEADLY EMBRACE??
India has raised its strong objections to China as the corridor passes through the Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Chinese media has cautioned India that if the latter obstructs the project, China shall have to get ‘involved’. Seems like a silent deadly threat, doesn’t it?
Why is India Paranoid?
Well, India sees CHINESE NAVAL PRESENCE in Gwadar port, which is a few hundred miles off Mumbai coast, as a threat. It is seen by us as the last Pearl in the Chinese grand plan – “The String of Pearls” aimed at encircling India.
What is this String of Pearls?
After the Sino- Indian war of 1962, China is buffering up its naval presence in Rangoon, Chittagong, Colombo, Seychelles, and East African coasts. If you plot these on the map, it looks like a string of pearls. This has the effect of blockading Indian maritime shipping, incase of hostilities.
WHAT’S MAKING OUR CHEENI BROTHERS SENSITIVE ABOUT CPEC?
The answer is actually just two words – Malacca Dilemma.
China currently sources oil imports from the Europe, Middle-east and Africa through the Malacca straits. The Chinese maritime lanes pass through Malacca straits. China apprehends that a Stronger Indian navy might choke its shipping lanes in times of hostilities.
Not only that, China sees many threats in its own backyard – Japan, S.Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and a strong US Navy presence. INDIA IS SEEN AS A COUNTERVAILING FORCE TO THE RISING DRAGON by many countries.
The recent Chinese defiance of International Court of Justice prohibiting it to construct artificial islands in international waters is one such incident.
BUT WAIT FOR THIS,
India on its part, made a diplomatic coup by fast forwarding the development of Chabahar port in Iran, which will provide toe hold to the Indian navy. This can be a threat to Chinese investments and naval presence. That’s pretty hail-worthy on our part! *Claps*
THE TRIANGULAR HATE CONTEST!
While India sees CPEC as a Chinese ploy to encircle India, China sees Chabahar as an Indian ploy to encircle it! Pakistan sees Indian opposition to CPEC and presence in Chabahar, Afghanistan an attempt to encircle it!
No two nations can be permanent friends or foes in international politics. Half a century ago, nobody would have imagined that US and Japan would now be the best of friends! Is it not a political failure on part of both the nations to overlook the common civilizational traits and glean on the differences??
Only time will tell…
Image Credits: Google Images
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