OBOR Initiative

CPEC to be extended to Afghanistan


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: CPEC

Mains level: India's territorial sovereignty breach


Central Idea: Pakistan, China and Afghanistan have agreed to extending the Beijing-backed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan to fully harness the country’s potential as a hub for regional connectivity.

What is 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.

India’s reservation against CPEC

Ans. Sovereignty breach

  • India 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.


  • Economic push for Pak: CPEC has consistently been held up as a “gamechanger” for Pakistan’s economy.
  • Debt trap diplomacy: At the same time, China is the only country that is heavily investing in Pakistan.

Progress status

  • Slow pace: Gwadar, despite being the epicenter of multibillion-dollar projects, lacks basic necessities like reliable access to water and electricity, let alone other facilities.
  • At standstill: 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.
  • Baloch freedom movement: This is another impediment to the stalled project where Chinese officials are targeted and killed.
  • Consistent security threat: China is also seeking to deploy its Army in the CPEC projects, to which Pakistan has contested.


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