CHINA PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR A CORRIDOR TO PROGRESS

Noor ul Huda

CHINA PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR A CORRIDOR TO PROGRESS

CPEC is an acronym of “China Pakistan economic corridor “. It is a transit route being built to provide China easy access to the world markets through Gwadar port of Balochistan, Pakistan. CPEC is a mega project which aims to connect Gwadar port in southwestern Pakistan to China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang via a network of highways, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas (main transport) from Gwadar to Kashgar.

WHY CHINA NEED THIS?

CPEC will open trade routes for western China and provide China direct access to the rich Middle East region through the Arabian Sea by passing longer routes currently through Strait of Malacca. China will be more beneficial through CPEC and China has started this project with Pakistan and all the developments China will do in this regard will be beneficial to Pakistan in return. It is $46 billion investment project and China will save $2 billion annually on oil imports by taking the shortest route into western China offered through Gwadar

This project is included in china’s ONE BELT ONE ROAD vision.it is china’s bold initiative which presents a grand scale of the future geopolitical landscape. This was well known centuries ago when China was at its most glorious period as ‘SILK ROAD WORLD ORDER ‘. There was a trading route linking China’s ancient capital Xian westward all the way to Europe through which commerce and cultural exchanges took place. In addition to the land route travelled with camels, China also had taken ocean voyages from its east coast to South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and all the way to Africa, bringing Chinese culture to that region. They were known as Silk Road. Now the Chinese government has announced its development strategy to revive those ancient routes by taking the first step as CPEC

‘One belt one road’ strategy involves 26 countries, 4.4 billion people which count for 63% of the world’s entire population and roughly 1/3 of the world economy. It will be based on integration and cooperation, ideally to the benefits of all involved. It is included in china’s communism and Confucian philosophy.

‘One belt one road'(OBOR) includes 6 corridors under two roads

The new Silk Road economic belt running west towards Europe through Russia and central Asia

The 21st-century Maritime road to reach Europe through South Asia and southwest Africa

6 corridors are

China -Mongolia-Russia economic corridor (CMREC)

New Eurasian Land Bridge (NELB)

China-Indo-China peninsula economic corridor (CICPEC)

China central and West Asia economic corridor (CCWAEC)

China- Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC)

Bangladesh -China -India – Myanmar economic corridor (BCIMEC)

While CPEC is the first one to be constructed

Moreover, China has accumulated a lot of experience in building infrastructure (high-speed railways )and countries in central and west Asia, the Middle East and east Europe can use China’s help to speed up their modernization.

Currently, China has to import its goods through the Strait of Malacca through the long route of 12,000 km. once CPEC is functional this distance will be reduced to 3000 km overcoming the hindrance of Chinese ships so it is logical for China to shift its focus from the east coast to west. China wants to give its direct access to the Arabian Sea and the Energy-rich Persian Gulf markets. CPEC route will also reduce the distance of China to oil-rich countries by at least 10,000 km

The case of western China is interesting because it is the Baluchistan of China in some ways. Its shares in total Chinese trade is mere 5% but it makes up for 70% of the total land mass and 28.8% of the Chinese population. China has already started work on economic zones in the province.

HOW PAKISTAN WILL BE BENEFITTED?

CPEC will be the game changer and fate changer for Pakistan. CPEC business is of $55 to $60 billion consists of connectivity, communication, development and industrial upheaval.

CPEC has eastern, western and central routes. Western route is the original and shortest route starts from Gwadar to Abbottabad and from Abbottabad, the further route is the same with the eastern route. Eastern route starts from Gwadar runs parallel to Makran coastal highways to reach Karachi then it passes through major cities of Sindh then to Punjab cities to KP and then finally through Muzaffarabad of AJK through Gilgit. This route is longer than western route but much safer than as compare to western route. The central route includes Gwadar-Turbat-Panjgur-Khuzdar-Ratodero-Kashmore-Rajanpur-D.G Khan-Bannu-Kohat-Peshawar-Hassan Abdal -Abbottabad and onward. 

As Pakistan is suffering from energy shortage but CPEC is much more about the energy sector.

50% of investment is kept for the production of electricity which is about 16500 megawatts.

As we know due to the shortage of electricity many international standards factories shifted to other South Asian countries CPEC will bring them back

Telecommunication field is expected to grow once the fiber optics will be laid from China to Pakistan. Transportation will be a boom with CPEC. About 1 lac new cargo trucks for transportation of goods and Chinese oil will pass from Kashgar to Gawadar.IT will boost up Pakistan economic growth by improving Pak GDP growth (GDP is Gross Domestic Product tells us about that how much country’s economy flourish GDP comes from the amounts of all new products formed by country in a year or in a specific period).CPEC will modernize the Pakistan’s infrastructure and transportation facilities.

It is a game changer for Baluchistan. It is a great opportunity for Pakistan to feed up its deprived province through CPEC. It is estimated that 1 million new jobs will be created in various fields and sectors which are aligned with CPEC. Gwadar has the potential to act as a Naval Base of Pakistan and Chinese navies. Ultimately Pak navy which is far behind the Indian navy will get more importance and advance naval fleets and capabilities. All these mega developments will change the life style of masses of Pakistan and will strong their relationships with the Chinese nation.

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