A few days ago, we wrote an article about Gwadar, the capital of CPEC.
In the comments section, Some said it (CPEC) will be a fate-changer for Pakistan. And some said it will bury Pakistan. One thing became crystal-clear after watching all these comments that within Pakistan and around Pakistan rumors are many but facts are few. And perhaps that’s why our friends demanded us that we immediately start CPEC series. So that, myth and fact can be differentiated. So, your wish is my command* Chinese chanting Pakistan Zindabad! *Let’s begin with China. China is investing 60 billion USD on this project (CPEC). Which is a mighty figure as we all know that in current Pakistani conditions investors consider many times before investing in Pakistan. But then why is China investing such a huge sum?”
O Lord, What is This Mystery?”
(a famous verse by Ghalib)
CPEC is basicallly China’s need. In past few years, China has developed magnificently. Tall buildings were made Cities got amazing makeovers. There are so many lights in Shanghai. That it becomes difficult to differentiate Between days and nights. But the focus of most of this development has been in the eastern part of China. If we see China’s photograph taken from space we can see that all these lights are in the eastern side of China. And it is absolutely clear that in the western region, where population density is low, Development is at its lowest. Now, you understand this well When one region gets all the development and one doesn’t. People of the latter areas get heartbroken? Quite like Balochistan in Pakistan. It’s quite similar in Western China. So, a few years ago, China’s establishment decided that From now on, all the focus of development will be in the Western China. But the question was that if giant factories start producing in the western parts of the country where would they sell their products? If those goods need to be transferred to Shanghai or Hong Kong first, It will become too costly. For developing Western China, It was essential to find new markets and new paths (to reach those markets) Six new such paths are being paved as we speak. The most important of which is CPEC .
These are basically six different corridors. This is a himalayan-scale communication network comprising roads, rails, and airports. Which incorporates many industrial projects as well.
Collectively, this project is called OBOB or One Belt One Road. Some of these paths/corridors go northward from China. And reach Europe via Russia. Another corridors reaches Europe through Iran and Turkey. Two corridors are being developed in the east of India. That connect China to Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Thailand etc. But the most important corridor is CPEC.
Which, first connects China to Pakistan And then, from Pakistan to Dubai And the whole Arab world, And then, (it connects China) to the emerging African market. While the Arabs in the gulf have crazy money. Some African countries are also developing rapidly. For instance, Ethiopia’s GDP growth rate is 8%. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
China wants to sell its products in the rising African economies. But the problem is that ships take at least two weeks to reach Africa from China. But, if the same goods be sent from China to Gwadar, and from Gwadar to AfricaIt can reach destination within 2-3 days. Besides, China does not want to depend solely on maritime trade. Because Americans rule the blue waters. American aircraft carriers roam around Chinese seas all the time. And, US has huge army installations in China’s neighborhood.
If China depends on the maritime trade only, It will have to rely on US’s good will for keeping trade going. And China will never let that happen!. And this is where we get our answer.
Why is China making this investment in Pakistan.
But another question arises. What benefits will Pakistan reap from CPEC? As China’s western parts are under-developed, Similarly, some Pakistani areas have also been left behind. Especially Balochistan and FATA. It is pivotal for to develop these areas on full-throttle. This is the reason that when China shared the idea of CPEC with Pakistan. The Pakistanis felt that their prayers have been answered.
Pakistan needs to develop industry in the under-developed regions. And the easiest way to do that is CPEC. A network of roads, motorways, railroads and airports etc should be laid. And along these motorways, industrial zones should be developed. And investment should be brought from Turkey and other friendly countries. And an economic revolution should be ignited in the countryIt all sounds brilliant, but it’s not all that simple. There are many question marks, for instance. Who will be most unhappy with Pakistan. Or, how sincere is China with Pakistan? How much debt-load will the Pakistanis take? And, obviously, we also have to check that Which CPEC projects have been completed or near completion. It will take time to answer all these questions.