Skip to main content

Riyadh and CPEC

Daily Times, Editorial


Daily Times

SEPTEMBER 23, 2018

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s trip to the Middle East appears to have been worth the squeeze. For the Saudis are now committed to investing at least $10 billion in this country as Riyadhreadies to become the third CPEC partner. A turn of events that affords a better understanding of why the COAS was in Beijing at this time.

Details of the agreement are expected next month when a Saudi delegation is due to head this way. And since the PM has thus far been a little coy on the question of the $4 billion soft loanthat he had reportedly been seeking from the Kingdom — this has given way to speculation that the latter will invest in infrastructure projects, including Gwadar, rather than go for an all-out cash bailout.

Thus Riyadh’s inclusion into the Corridor looks good. On paper, at any rate. Though Islamabad needs to honestly clarify its unequivocal pledge to support Saudi Arabia strategically. Not least because there remain concerns that the Centre may do U-turn when it comes to deployingPakistani troops to Yemen. A country where the Saudi-led coalition risks being probed for war crimes.

Be that as it may, the Kingdom represents a not unnatural ally for Beijing. Indeed, back in 2010, China emerged as the latter’s largest trading partner. Then last summer, when Vice Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli visited the Kingdom, the two sides agreed to open a $20-billion joint Sino-Saudi investment fund. This came in the wake of some $65 billion worth of deals inked earlier in the year; ranging from energy to space technology. Fast-forward to the beginning of 2018 and China has called for tighter integration between Riyadh’s planned economic diversification away from crude oil and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It appears that the Saudis have taken this duly on board.

Pakistan will, however, have to tread carefully with Iran on this front. The last thing this country needs is to be dragged into proxy wars. Meaning that Islamabad must balance its regional alliances carefully. As far as US displeasure over the Kingdom surrendering to the dragon’s embrace goes, that is better left to Riyadh and Washington to resolve bilaterally. Especially given that the latter is already irked by Saudi efforts, announced last year, to partially cover its budget deficit in renminbi in a bid to reduce financial dependence on the dollar; thereby facilitating the rise of the petro-yuan. That being said, increased American belligerence in this neighbourhood will have far-reaching ramifications. After all, in its National Security Strategy for 2018 Washington named China as a regional adversary. And now the US fear is that Beijing will make use of this increased partnership with Saudi Arabia to consolidate inroads into the Middle East. This may well be welcomed by many of the region’s nations; which tend to see China as a more stable hegemonic power given that it does not pursue a militarised foreign policy.

In short, the balance of power is changing in this neck of the woods and beyond. And this time around, Pakistan appears to be partially behind the wheel. This can only be a good thing. As long as pragmatism remains the driving force of any new regional order.  *

Published in Daily Times, September 23rd 2018.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/301401/riyadh-and-cpec/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…