Pak-China ties: A symbol of friendship (National Herald Tribune (Pakistan))
PAKISTAN has an extensive and symbiotic relationship with China. The time-honoured ties between the two countries have been mutually supportive. A close identity of views and mutual interests remain the trademark of bilateral ties. Pakistan and China have multidimensional (different aspects) and deep rooted relationship. Both countries had continued dialogues on politics, economics and defence issues at both institutional and governmental level to maintain peace in the region.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is another mile stone in friendship. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is considered to be the biggest investment by China in a foreign country worth of $46 billion.
This Corridor is of high significance, as it shall run through one of the most vital geostrategic locations in South Asia. It will act as a trade bridge between China, the Middle East and Europe through Pakistan, will generate thousands of jobs and revenue value billions of dollars for both countries.
South Asia region is recognized as the region that is blemished by instability, economic under-development and conflict. But this cooperation leading to development are sought, naturally, it strengthens the prospects for a stronger and stable region.
To counter US influence in the region, China wants to expand its political and economic influence in South and South East Asia through this mega project (Economic Corridor). The US has a similar agenda in the form of ‘Pivot to Asia’, which is aimed at countering China’s economic and military expansion in Asia-Pacific.
The growing difficulty of the Asia-Pacific region hassles US attention, and the United States is in good position to play an essential role in the region. This means that the US has partnered itself with key players in the region such as India, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore to stop China from spreading its influence.
CPEC is an inclusive development programme that involves the linking of Gwadar Port to China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang through highways, railways, oil and gas pipelines and an optical fiber link. Major physical infrastructure to be built includes 2,700-kilometre highway stretching from Kashgar to Gwadar through Khunjrab, railways links for freight trains between Gwadar and Khunjrab linking to China and having possible regional connectivity with Afghanistan, Iran and India, and the Karachi-Lahore motorway.
The project will also undertake the revival and extension of the Karakorum Highway that links Xinjiang with Pakistan’s northern region Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pak-China Economic Corridor.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is located where the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road meet. It’s called One Belt, One Road initiative.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is expected to further strengthen trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. Although Pakistan regards China an “all-weather friend” and bilateral relations between the two countries have never been uneasy over the course of history, yet it is important to evaluate the variables that can affect Pakistan’s political and economic capacity and response to implement the elements of the larger CPEC project over longer periods of time.