OBOR Initiative

Second Phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: CPEC 2.0, Gwadar Port

Why in the News?

Pakistani PM is on a formal visit to China to attend the formal announcement of the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC-II).


  • CPEC’s next phase shifts focus from infrastructure and energy to sectors like agriculture, Pakistan Railways’ Main Line-I (ML-1) upgrade, and realignment of the Karakorum Highway.
  • CPEC was initiated in 2015 as part of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).


  • It will provide Pakistan with a strategic advantage in terms of trade and commerce
  • CPEC-II includes significant investments in the energy sector, which will help overcome Pakistan’s chronic power shortages and ensure a stable supply of electricity
  • Provides a shortcut for China’s access to the Persian Gulf to secure oil imports, and
  • Stimulate industrial and economic activity in Pakistan.

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

  • The Belt and Road Initiative, formerly known as One Belt One Road, is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013.
  • It will invest in nearly 70 countries and international organizations.
  • Infrastructure projects include ports, railways, highways, power stations, aviation and telecommunications.
  • “Belt” refers to the overland routes for road and rail transportation, called “the Silk Road Economic Belt”; whereas “road” refers to the sea routes or the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
  • The project has a target completion date of 2049 which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

India’s Concerns

  • Sovereignty Concerns: India expresses reservations as CPEC traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), challenging territorial sovereignty and potentially bolstering Pakistan’s claim over the region.
  • Geostrategic Implications: The expansion of Gwadar port under CPEC extends China’s “String of Pearls” around India, prompting concerns over regional power dynamics.

CPEC’s Progress so Far

  • Mixed Outcomes: The initial phase of CPEC primarily addressed infrastructure, energy, and port development projects, with progress showing variations.
  • Project Status: While several power projects have been completed, significant delays and challenges persist in transport-related projects and Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Challenges and Roadblocks

  • Slow pace: Gwadar, despite being the epicentre of multibillion-dollar projects, lacks basic necessities like reliable access to water and electricity, let alone other facilities.
  • 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.


[2018] The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same. (150 Words, 10 Marks)

[2016] ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is sometimes mentioned in the news in the context of the affairs of

(a) African Union

(b) Brazil

(c) European Union

(d) China

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