China-Pak Corridor - A Game Changer In The Making?

China has declared a $46bn venture arrange for which will mainly fixate on the economic corridor from Gwadar, Pakistan to Kashgar, China. But why has it got everyone talking?

The cash China is intending to pour into Pakistan is more than double the measure of all Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Pakistan has gotten since 2008, and extensively more than the whole aid from the United States, Pakistan's biggest donor, since 2002.

Pakistani authorities say most projects will complete within one to three years, although some infrastructural projects may take somewhere between 10 to 15 years. So the investment is not going to become too thin over a drawn-out timeframe, as happened with the US aid.

Also, this investment will be intensely amassed in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a blend of transport and energy ventures and the development of a deep-sea port offering direct access to the Indian Ocean and beyond.

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But The Real Question Is: What Will Happen To All This Money?

Authorities concede that a few arrangements effectively marked by China and Pakistan in 2010 won't achieve completion. If it turns out to be the case, it will be due to corruption, incompetence, and lack of transparency.

 So in the event that they want to make the current deals work, the Pakistanis will need to work harder to satisfy their piece of institutional and financial commitments.

And What About Militants?

The financial corridor begins at Gwadar and finishes at Kashgar.

Gwadar is situated on the Arabian Sea Bank of Balochistan, an area in south-west Pakistan which is wracked by 10 years old separatist rebellion.

Kashgar is situated at the center of China's only Muslim-majority, Turkic-speaking Xinjiang area. It is populated primarily by ethnic Uighur Muslims and has been home to a separatist development since the mid-1990s. There has been a current upsurge in violence which China faults on separatists.

Amongst Gwadar and Kashgar, the silk-road goes through territories that are within the striking range of Pakistan's Taliban guerrillas. Not so long ago, they controlled territory along Pakistan's north-western fringe with Afghanistan and facilitated the biggest centralization of Uighur activists outside China.

A previous diplomate, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, said in a face-off that the Pakistani army has chosen to raise a special force to defend this 3,000km passageway.

Many are doubtful in light of the fact that the army already failed to provide a secure passage to Nato troops in Afghanistan.

In any case, some trust the military is probably going to treat the Chinese corridor diversely on the grounds that the financial advantages accumulating from it could help isolate Baloch guerillas.

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What Do USA And India Think Of The Pak-China Corridor?

There are signs the Americans have been urging China to play a balancing part in Afghanistan. Also, few in Pakistan trust that American impact is probably going to recede from this region in the short run.

However, over the long period, the Americans will be working on strategies to deal with the rise of Russia and China.

Moreover, while the Indians have China as one of their biggest trading accomplices, they may have long-term security concerns about Chinese control of the Pakistani port of Gwadar.

 

Story And Image Credit: BBC News

Read also: What Are The Projects Being Offered By Ministry Of Housing & Works In Pakistan


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