China Pakistan Economic Corridor acronym as CPEC is part of China’s One Belt One Road project that will run through Pakistan over a distance of 3218 km as a collective infrastructure venture consisting of Highways, railways and pipelines. This mammoth project has both economic and strategic relevance for Beijing, as this would lead China to launch itself as global power. This project is touted to boost Pakistani economy by modernizing its infrastructures, and also making a manufacturing hub and outsourcing destination for western economics.
The CPEC will connect Xinjiang region in western China with the southern Pakistan port of Gwadar. The worth of the project initially was $46 billion which by now is valued at $54 billion. The CPEC since its conception had been opposed by India as it considered it to be a challenge to its sovereignty. The proposed CPEC will run through Gilgit – Baltistan, a Indian territory under the occupation of Pakistan. The project will further internationalize the Kashmir issue whereby making Pakistan to claim the territory as its own. This will also repudiates India’s claim over the 73,000 sqkm piece of land, housing more than 1.8 million people. Taking into the India’s opposition, China has also expressed its desire to rechristen it, a mean to assuage India.
CPEC has become partly operational when Chinese cargo ships were loaded at the dock of Gwadar for its maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia. If it becomes fully functional, would make the movement of Chinese good destined for the US, Europe, Africa and the entire western world faster, as it reduces the distance by 2000 miles substantially. Not only this, it would also provide an alternative to the ‘Strait of Malacca’ route by which major share of Chinese trade occurs.
The project has strategic implication for both the neighbor, India and Pakistan, as the CPEC passes through the restive region of Balochistan, where the angst against the China by the natives and threat will compel the Chinese to deploy Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to secure its investments. According to scholars it makes the State of Pakistan servile to China, economically and politically as it is taking unprecedented loan for it. The building of Power Plant in Pakistan by China with obsolete technology instead of using state of the art technology to generate 10,000 MW electricity that too in a power starved nation only proves the alleged fear.