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CPEC: The Game Changer

Updated on May 25, 2017

A Relief into Chaos

There was an epoch of chaos for the citizens, looking for the apparatus to build stairs that will lead towards development. Many skeptics argued that the economy of this state is going to collapse soon. An epoch of pillages, which reminds us the darkness of load shedding, poverty, anarchy, terrorism and many other obstacles. We the people of Pakistan under the constitution of 1973, are the best examples of being persecuted by the state. But now there is a light of hope from China that can remove the darkness, says Nawaz Sharif Prime Minister of Pakistan.


In the modern time, the world has shrunk as a result of scientific advancement and technological development and an event on one part of the world leaves deep impact on the rest of the world.

OBOR

China Pakistan Economic Corridor, a gateway that connects Europe and Asia through the territory of Pakistan is the amalgamation of different energy and infrastructure projects. The project promises multidimensional ambitions that will give a new impetus to the strategic co-operation of both countries. The project is working under OBOR (One Belt One Road) which is the combination of six projects:

  1. New Eurasian Land Bridge
  2. China-Mongolia-Russia Corridor
  3. China Central Asia West Asia Corridor
  4. China Indochina Peninsula
  5. Bangladesh China India Myanmar Corridor
  6. China Pakistan Corridor

One Belt: The Silk Road Economic Belt has main focus on connecting, developing, enhancing and building a Eurasian Land Bridge which would be acting as a logistic series of gateways from China's east coast to Europe using three main routes. It will connect China with Mongolia, Russia, Central Asia and South East Asia.

One Road: The 21st century Maritime Silk Road is the sea route which runs to Europe from China's eastern coast through Indian Ocean and the South China Sea by two routes.




OBOR should be jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all, and efforts should be made to integrate the development strategies of the countries along the routes. It is not closed but open and inclusive; it is not a solo by China but a chorus all countries along the routes.

President Xi, in BAO forum for Asia, 2015

The working of Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road
The working of Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road | Source

China Pakistan Economic Corridor

To glorify the CPEC without the reverence of Baluchistan is pretty much unfair, as it is a land of ornaments. The treasure of Mineral Resources is under this land. Mahgarh a city of Baluchistan is a prime route between Central Asia and Afghanistan. Baluchistan is 44% of the total area of Pakistan. Baluchistan is the facade of CPEC because Gulf of Oman is in its south, it is a gateway of world economy, contributes 20 billion rupees to its exchequer each year, bolsters Pakistan with its Geo-strategic position, 70% coal it provides, reserves of gas in this area are the largest in the world, Chamaln coal mines 500 square miles are the second largest in Asia, consists of 270 million tons coal worth more than 500 billion US$, Chaaghi has 200 million tons of Iron, having 412 million tons of Gold, Silver and Copper Baluchistan has more than 1 trillion US$ with in its 347,190 square kilometer of area.

A markerBaluchistan, Pakistan -
Balochistan, Pakistan
get directions

The pivotal character in the game of China's New Silk road strategy is Pakistan to whom China has given strategic partnership by beginning the construction of one of the first six major corridors connecting the world. In various infrastructure and energy related projects President Xi Jinping has signed an agreement of 46 billion$ with Pakistan in 2015. China has not invested ass much in any country till now. The project termed as OBOR's 'flagship project' is deemed to invest 74% in energy, 20% in coal mining and 13% in infrastructure.

The project will enter Pakistan through Karakorum and will pass through the whole Pakistan and reach Gawadar Baluchistan. The project comprises of 51 major projects that will connect Gawadar with Kashgar in China. The short term goals of the project are estimated to be completed in 5 years, whereas the long term projects are estimated to be completed in 10-15 years.

The route of CPEC in Pakistan
The route of CPEC in Pakistan | Source

Core Objectives

Infrastructure Projects: Including 2700 km highway 5.9 billion$ would be spent to enhance the capability of transferring goods to all over the world through the gateway of Pakistan. Many small projects like Havelian dry port, Orange line train and Cross border optical fiber cable system project are planned to be worked out. All these projects will not only give the best opportunity for the Pakistanis to experience the rapid progress but also the problem of unemployment in Pakistan would be solved soon.

Energy Projects: 65% of world oil and 35% of gas comes from littoral Indian ocean. In this context, China promises Pakistan by the 2015 agreement 34 billion$ to be spent on energy projects, that will utilize different coal, hydel, wind, and solar power plants. If these projects are completed they will sooner add 10,400 MW to the national grid in 2018.

Easing World Trade: The world has now approximately turned into global village, the incident that happen in one corner of the world is sooner to be listened or watched in another. Many major states always had their interests in this region and 70% of the world trade which passes through Indian Ocean basically belongs to the states which are not the part of the region. To make unobstructed and free trade CPEC is at our door knocking to gain advantage from it.


The CPEC mega project has been termed as 'game changer for the region' that will promote prosperity and development not only in Pakistan and Western part of China but also in entire region integrating Central Asia, South Asia and Middle East.

The projects have been divided into three terms:

  1. Short-term: That already have been started in 2014 and will be completed in 2017
  2. Medium-term: Include projects starting in 2017 and expected to be completed in 2025
  3. Long-term: Extending 2025-2030

Main Power Projects

Area
Construction Cost
Megawatts
Karwat Hydroelectric Plant
1.6 Billion $
870
Bahawalpur Solar Power Plant
1.3 Billion $
100
Muzaffargarh Coal power generation Plant
1.6 Billion $
1320
Port Qasim Coal Power Generation Plant
1.8 Billion $
1320
Karachi Wind Power Plants
260 Million $
100
Dadu Wind power Plants
130 Million $
50
Saki Kinar Hydroelectric Plant
1.8 Billion $
870
Rahim Yar Khan Coal Power Plant
1.9 Billion $
1320
Gawadar Coal Power Plant
360 Million $
300
Hyderabad Wind Plants
390 Million $
150
Thar Coal Power Plant
900 Million $
600
Sahiwal Coal Power Plant
1.6 Billion $
1320

Inference

What are the factors urging China to invest in Pakistan? Transparently, the mega project will reduce China's distance to the Persian Gulf from 16000 km to only 2600 km. Not only that but it will also provide a safer passage as well. Given the rising technological and energy demands have highlighted the importance of Indian Ocean and now the focus is on the Chinese mega project. Hegemonic symbol of Asia is struggling to rise Asia as an emerging economy.

What do you think?

Is CPEC, really a game changer or blessing in disguise for Pakistan?

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