Skip to main content

Is China’s US$62 billion investment plan fuelling resentment in Pakistan?


China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will stir up political tensions if Islamabad and Beijing cannot resolve existing concerns, NGO says

Sarah Zheng

China’s massive investment in Pakistan could fuel greater conflict in the South Asian nation if it continues on its current path, a non-profit organisation warned, just weeks ahead of what are shaping up to be the most controversial elections in the nation’s democratic history.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – a collection of US$62 billion worth of infrastructure projects under construction across the country – may raise political tensions and animosity if Islamabad and Beijing cannot mitigate existing concerns, according to a report by the Belgium-based International Crisis Group.

“Pakistan’s economy clearly needs reform to better serve its people, and many officials say CPEC will help in this regard,” it said. “But as currently rolled out, the corridor risks aggravating political tension, widening social divides, and generating new sources of conflict in Pakistan.”

Pakistan pins hopes of tourism revival and prestige on glistening new international airport

As the linchpin of Beijing’s development drive in the region, under its signature “Belt and Road Initiative”, the corridor has faced a flurry of accusations about a lack of transparency, disproportionate benefits for Chinese firms and wealthier areas of Pakistan, and raised concerns about China’s geopolitical intentions.

Once completed, the network of transport, energy, industrial and agricultural projects will stretch 2,700km (1,680 mile) from the port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea to Kashgar prefecture in China’s westernmost region, Xinjiang.

“While it is too early to assess if CPEC can deliver the economic gains Islamabad promises, the project risks inflaming long-standing tensions between the centre and smaller federal units, and within provinces over inequitable economic development and resource distribution,” the report said.

China denies making impossible demands for collapsed US$14 billion infrastructure deal with Pakistan

While China and Pakistan have a friendly relationship, dominated by their security ties, the report detailed how deepening economic cooperation through the CPEC has engendered domestic discontent, with the main concern being that the huge energy and transport projects deliver few benefits for locals.

People living near the Gwadar deep-sea port project, for instance, are annoyed at the “overbearing” security presence to protect Chinese investments, while there is the belief that related projects, such as the Mirani dam to the north, benefit the port but not the local community, the report said.

The danger in the deep near China’s multibillion-dollar port in Pakistan

Of even greater concern is the fact that scores of Pakistani workers have been killed by militants for being involved with the CPEC, including 10 labourers who were building a road in Gwadar, which although not directly financed by the corridor programme is part of the broader China-funded transport connectivity network.

Another major bone of contention and source of anti-Chinese sentiment has been the displacement of communities to make way for infrastructure projects, without clear details or resettlement plans, the report said. Although the CPEC launched in April 2015, details of the long-term plan were not released until December last year, by which time many projects were already under way.

Just who will the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor really benefit?

Beyond the domestic complications, the CPEC has also upset Pakistan’s neighbour, India, which sees China as a strategic competitor and is wary of Beijing’s rising influence in the region.

New Delhi has refused to sign on to the belt and road programme, partly because of the fact the CPEC passes through Kashmir, a disputed territory claimed by both India and Pakistan.

As Pakistan gears up for its parliamentary elections later this month, with the military appearing to play an outsize political role, it is critical that the new government be more transparent about the roll-out of the CPEC, while ensuring local communities are appropriately consulted, compensated and employed in major developments, the report said.

“Unless there is a serious rethink in policy circles, CPEC could … trigger or worsen [the] conflict,” it said.

China lends US$1 billion to Pakistan as speculation over IMF bailout grows

Meanwhile, the researchers urged Chinese firms to work closely with Pakistani stakeholders at the local, regional and national level to ensure everyone benefits from the development projects.

“For all the risks and challenges, CPEC offers an opportunity to upgrade Pakistan’s ageing and dysfunctional infrastructure, and revive a flagging economy,” the report said.

“But to deliver on these promises, both Islamabad and Beijing need to implement it with considerably more sensitivity and consultation than they have displayed thus far.”


http://m.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2153609/chinas-us62-billion-investment-plan-fuelling-resentment

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-china-europe-railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…