Posted by New Delhi Times Bureau
China Pakistan economic corridor is a deal or an agreement between China and Pakistan to increase the volume of trade. The deal covers one of the largest overseas projects which will connect Kashgar’s Xinjiang in China with Balochistan’s Gwadar in Pakistan. This project is of international importance. How the project is going to impact India and other neighbouring countries would be great to observe. But before that, it is imperative to understand the importance of CPEC and what it exactly is.
The project signed between China and Pakistan is aimed not only to revive ancient time silk route to maritime silk route but also hold strategic trade importance. This $46 billion trade deal will give China direct access to Indian Ocean, which will reduce its 12 days oil import to 36 hours. The project will also benefit Pakistan in emerging as one of the strongest South Asian player. Apart from the creation of social overhead capital, Pakistan’s electricity shortage will also be taken care of.
Addressing the question whether CPEC will be a threat to India’s security or if it is a military alliance against India, we need to look at it from the perspective of India. India’s Foreign Secretary said that, “Fact that CPEC is part of a particular initiative and it runs through POK is a threat to India’s sovereignty”. China is a dominant country and it would not be a surprise that CPEC or Pakistan may become its 24th Province. Moreover China’s maritime presence in the Gwadar Port can be an issue of concern as India also imports it oil from the same region.
Both India and US are alienating Pakistan for its terror activities, and it may be a cause for concern that with the help of China it may get strong financially and there would be more terror attacks. Another major factor would be that, India is in no ways dependent upon Pakistan rather, it is one of the emerging economies. So if by any means Pakistan benefits from CPEC, it will be of great concern to India.
India vehemently opposes CPEC, given that it will give Pakistan leverage over the India in trade and development. Today Pakistan is on the verge of debts. If this CPEC becomes successful, Pakistan will earn a huge sum.
This would pose a security threat to India as Pakistan would then easily sponsor terrorism. On the eve of the Belt and Road Forum meeting hosted by China, India came out in open to oppose CPEC. It claims that CPEC passes through Gilgit-Baltistan, an area integral to India under Pakistan. The Indian claims were mainly of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Experts claim that project is little more than a colonial enterprise, which will leave debt ridden communities and also that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognized international norms and good governance. CPEC will strengthen strategic ties between Pakistan and China, taking it to next level of military dependence and economic resource multiplication. Pakistan will have hold over China’s energy and military jaguar.
This, in turn, will reflect upon the military bonding. India would be at stake as both the neighbouring countries in ties with each other and both at one point or other have conflicts with India. Thus it can be seen that CPEC will affect India’s security issues. It will not only reflect on India making bonding with other western powers in order to neutralize the effect but also it has to be ready for an unpredictable event in future.
There is hope for India if it deepens ties with the US. this would act as a bulwark against Chinese influence in the region and keep Pakistan in check