The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a growing and developing country for which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a substantial fortune to enhance and boost Pakistan’s economy. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the major and important part of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) pet globalization project of President Xi Jinping with bases in the great ancient and medieval Silk Roads. The land routes between the deep-sea port of Gwadar, Pakistan to Kashgar in Western China (farther through China constructed rail-road infrastructure connecting with Central Asia and Russia) it also includes a major portion of sea-based Maritime Silk Route that will be effortlessly and cost-effectively connecting China through Gwadar to the broader Indian Ocean, the Gulf states and East Africa, all the way to Mediterranean via Red Sea, thus with north Africa and Europe.
It was initially declared by the Chinese President Xi Jinping on his visit to Asia and South Asia in 2013. The new traverse and trade facilities shall not merely ascent and expand the subsisting Pakistani infrastructure but it will also deliver China an opportunity to achieve an alternate transit and trade route in a cost-effective manner to broader global regions.
The aspiring and ambitious 21st century Silk Road initiative is in fact an elongation of the ancient Silk Roads known at least since 100 AD when the Tang China in affiliation with the Kushan rulers of the Sindhu (Indus as Greeks called it) Valley used to carry trade through the sea port of Barbarikon (ruins located 40 kilometers near Karachi locally called Bhambhore) all the way to Rome.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF CPECNearby 1983 midst the so-called Afghan Mujahdeen movement, the United States during her engagement in Afghanistan desired to construct the Gwadar deep sea port but ditched the idea at once,then the Soviet troops led Afghanistan and the idea became dormant forever. With the diassembling of the USSR and emergence of the newly independent Central Asian states, ideas to revise the old Silk routes came in trend and for the first time the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University first proposed the new Silk routes under the Greater Central Asia Partnership doctrine connecting Central and South Asia. While the governance of President Pervaiz Musharraf in Pakistan, for the first time the idea of an economic corridor was discussed and the Chinese government showed and raised great interest. Till then the Department of State in the United States had almost withdrawn their from their intentions on the plans of new Silk roads originating in Starr’s ideas. This became the golden opportunity for the Chinese Government to be picked up under the rubric of New Silk Roads . This idea, which conjectures for such a long time , gained fame and power in May 2013 when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussed the construction of CPEC with Gwadar, its core on his visit to Pakistan and signed the milestone CPEC agreement by then. The very same year eight agreements worth $18 billion received Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s signatures on his visit to China that included building around 200 kilometers tunnels for the CPEC. The following year President of Pakistan visited China in February 2014 to clarify the Corridor plan. By then the Chinese banks and companies promised over $45.6 billion for energy and infrastructure projects along the corridor. In April 2015, Pakistan was visited by Chinese President Xi Jinping. This was the second visit of a Chinese leader in Pakistan since the beginning of 21st century . Hu Jintao’s visit to Pakistan in 2006. Xi also wanted to visit Pakistan in 2014 during his South Asia trip to Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India; however, the trip had been postponed due to some political problems in Pakistan. During his visit, a total of 51 agreements were signed between China and Pakistan having a total worth of $46 billion which also included the development of ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor. By this time the Chinese government under President Xi Jinping extended the previous CPEC project to the broader OBOR initiative globalizing CPEC as a major part of the broader project.The initially intended $46 billion investment that China aimed to invest in Pakistan under the CPEC has now been expanded to approximately 64 billion dollars. The amount advances all foreign direct investments Pakistan has ever received over the last numerous decades and is considerably more than all the aid Pakistan has received from the US since 9/11.CPEC VISION & MISSION:To enhance and amend the quality of life of the people of Pakistan and China by constructing an economic corridor promoting bilateral connectivity, construction, explore potential bilateral investment, economic and trade, logistics and people to people interaction for regional connectivity. It includes: Integrated Transport & IT systems including Road, Rail, Port, Air and Data Communication Channels Energy Cooperation Spatial Layout, Functional Zones, Industries and Industrial Parks Agricultural Development Socio-Economic Development (Poverty Alleviation, Medical Treatment, Education, Water Supply, Vocational Training) Tourism Cooperation & People to People Communication Cooperation in Livelihood Areas Financial Cooperation Human Resource DevelopmentCPEC’s connectivity is intended to introduce west China to the south and contribute to One Belt One Road initiative policy. The establishment of communication from Kashgar (China) to Gawadar “Baluchistan (Pakistan) has been agreed to be completed by 2030. Chinese Government is trying to consume the entire necessary supporting role to enabling the environment for the open economic system and logistic system in the regional vision of CPEC. The CPEC not only for the China and Pakistan but will also result beneficial for the neighboring countries. Pakistan’s economic growth will increase through this project. CPEC is envisioned as a corridor of peace, prosperity, and development. Although the CPEC will face a lot of challenges has significant potentials of promising future. The people of Pakistan were adversely affected in the past due to inadequate opportunities and lack of right decision. The CPEC will have a transformational impact on the state and the prosperity of the peoples of Pakistan. The visit of President Xi in April 2015 and Chinese commitment of $46 billion plus for various projects of CPEC, drew the world’s attention to the new development and growth of the economy. The Prime Minister of Pakistan held a meeting of the political leadership; all parties of conference supported the CPEC project as well as they warmly welcomed the Chinese investment. CPEC is assumed to be a breakthrough for Pakistan’s development and successful completion of the CPEC may generate three to four times more profit than their investment. The corridor will help in the alleviation of poverty by boosting the economy of Pakistan and availability of job opportunities. The project will help in Pakistan rebalance between the geopolitical and geo-economic, will improve the infrastructure, the energy requirements, workforce development and economic progress. CPEC is wondered as a table turning opportunity for both China-Pakistan and the entire region; economic development and regional integration will be enhanced through connectivity and partnership . It will address the grievances, sense of deprivation, discrimination and poor management of resources, of a different segment of the society of Pakistan. It will boost the trade and investment, exploration of mineral resources and increase the strategic and economic location of Pakistan .While ,the project is important for China’s perspective as flagship project, it will provide the shortest route to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe will further boost up the economy. The accomplishment of the CPEC will help China to counter the US dominance and will also get the chance to develop its north-western province Xinjiang, which is an underdeveloped area. In Xinjiang separatist movement has started by Uyghur’s Muslims. Thus, China could develop the socioeconomic framework of that region. Only in this way, China can limit the aggressive sentiments against its central government.