‘China’s New Silk Road: What is in it for Pakistan’ By Zofeen Ebrahim


China’s decision to invest heavily in Pakistan will have far reaching economic and political impact. This may also be a turning point for war on terror. The Pakistani Army must be on board to eliminate this curse of terrorism otherwise China would not have jumped into this venture. This article in Dawn illustrates why this project is important for China. Two days ago NYT also had an article which describes dwindling influence of America in Asia. (f.sheikh).

During his visit to Pakistan, China’s president will discuss a raft of energy and infrastructure deals as part of wider ambitions to open new trade and transport routes across Asia.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan had already generated a sense of nervous anticipation. Originally expected to come in September last year, Xi’s visit was postponed in the wake of prolonged anti-government protests in Islamabad, with the government not want anything untoward happening this time round.

As well as signing a raft of energy, trade and investment agreements, the Chinese president will inaugurate Balochistan’s Gwadar port, which is part of the 3,000 kilometre-long strategic China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which could radically alter the regional dynamics of trade, development and politics.

Gwadar, once a part of Oman before it was sold to Pakistan in 1958, is one of the least developed districts in Balochistan province. It sits strategically near the Persian Gulf and close to the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 per cent of the world’s oil passes.

The construction and operation of this multi-billion dollar deep-sea port at Gwadar was contracted to a Chinese company in 2013 and some analysts argue that the port could turn into China’s naval base in the Indian Ocean, enabling Beijing to monitor Indian and American naval activities.

Establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was first proposed by Chinese premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Pakistan in May 2013. “Our two sides should focus on carrying out priority projects in connectivity, energy development and power generation,” Li said at the time. For full article click link below.