OBOR Initiative

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CPEC, BRI

Mains level : Read the attached story

India has severely criticized the reported move by both China and Pakistan for third-party participation in some projects on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

  • The CPEC, one of the most ambitious components of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), was announced to great fanfare in 2015.
  • CPEC is a collection of infrastructure projects that are under construction throughout Pakistan beginning in 2013.
  • Originally valued at $47 billion, the value of CPEC projects is worth $62 billion as of 2020.
  • It is intended to rapidly upgrade Pakistan’s required infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and SEZs.
  • On 13 November 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar Port for onward maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia.

Why CPEC?

  • CPEC has consistently been held up as a “gamechanger” for Pakistan’s economy.
  • But the road to completion has proved long and winding. Reports indicate that the pace of CPEC projects has been slowing down in Pakistan in recent years.
  • At the same time, China is the only country that is heavily investing in Pakistan.

Why in news?

  • The lack of progress has led to numerous reports about CPEC being at a near standstill in the country.
  • Gwadar, despite being the epicenter of multibillion-dollar projects, lacks basic necessities like reliable access to water and electricity, let alone other facilities.
  • The baloch freedom movement is another impediment to the stalled project.
  • There have been sporadic attacks in Gwadar and elsewhere in the province and the country to discourage Chinese investments in the province.
  • China is also seeking to deploy its Army in the CPEC projects, to which Pakistan has contested.

India’s reservation

  • The GoI, which shares tense relations with Pakistan, objects to the CPEC project as upgrade works to the Karakoram Highway are taking place in Gilgit-Baltistan.
  • This is the territory illicitly occupied by Pakistan in 1947-48.
  • During the visit of Indian PM Modi to China in 2015, the Indian FM, Sushma Swaraj reportedly told the Chinese.
  • India did not object to the Chinese construction of the Karakoram Highway which was built between 1959 and 1979.

 

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