08 OCTOBER 2020 08:58 IST |
Tensions have been rising on the India-China border. Despite, attempts to de-escalate the friction, including the various agreements that have been made between the countries, China continues to be on the offensive.
Just before the Galwan face-off between the two nations, back in May, that led to a bloody massacre, Chinese troops had been amassing heavy artillery. Whilst the status quo remains the same at the North bank of Pangong Tso, there has been a noticeable addition in the Chinese reinforcements in the Depsang area. Almost 50,000 Chinese troops have increased since May.
The Depsang area now hosts an exceeding amount of Chinese troops, rocket launchers, tanks and other forms of artillery as the tensions between the nations continue.
Source: timesnownews.com “Indo-China border tensions escalate as 50,000 Chinese troops are spotted nNote:
This is timesnownews.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Mew York Times October-3 article “In Wake of Recent India-China Conflict, U.S. Sees Opportunity” got the wrong title. Tho opportunity has not come due to China’s provocation but from US long-term efforts to draw India into its Quad to contain China; therefore, it’s not an opportunity discovered by the US but one created by the US with long-term great efforts. Since the US wants to attract India into its arms, the US certainly would not upset India on the issue of Indian human rights abuse against Muslims.
Why do I say so? It is obvious as China has made great efforts to improve its relations with India. It has attracted India to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization along with Pakistan, India’s long-term enemy. Russia and China have tried hard to improve India-Pakistan relations. A Russia-India-China triangle is what Russia earnestly wants. Therefore, creating border tension with India is not in China’s interests.
The US has been trying hard to attract India into its Quad to contain China’s rise. India also regards China’s rise as a threat and may regard Quad as a necessary alliance for its security. In order to join Quad, India sent lots of troops across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to attack (Indian Prime Misister Modi said China has not crossed the LAC) Chinese troops to create tension. However, China was well prepared to be able to have driven away the aggressors and kill 20 of them. That is but a small conflict but India intentionally exaggerates it as if it may trigger a war.
In order to attract India, US promises to provide india with its advanced weapons and weapon technology, especially aircraft carrier technology, India urgently needs them for its dream to be India Ocean hegemon. However, by so doing India has upset its former ally and major weapon provider Russia. Its human rights abuses against Muslims has upset most its neiboring Muslim nations. By attacking China and persecuting Muslims, India will be increasingly isolated in Asia though it may gain an ally thousands of miles away.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on New York Times article, full text of which may be viewed at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/world/asia/india-china-trump.html.
Bracing itself for an aerial attack by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on its airbases, China has reportedly begun planning military drills in its Himalayan city of Lhasa, which also serves as the administrative capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
Tensions have been escalating between the militaries of New Delhi and Beijing, ever since June’s Galwan Valley clash and despite the top diplomats of the two nations reaching a five-point consensus, the situation in the valley has still remained brittle, with both nations preparing themselves for a potential conflict.
With reports of the IAF deploying Su-30s, MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 fighters in the Ladakh region, soon to be joined by the newly inducted French Rafales, China has stepped up its efforts to prepare itself for an aerial attack and according to a Chinese state-run outlet, Beijing will hold an air raid drill in the Lhasa city on Saturday (September 19).
According to the People’s Daily, the air drill will be held “in order to improve the general public’s national defense concept and civil air defense awareness.”
As reported, the Chinese government states that the sirens of the drill which will be played on Saturday will be of three different types with a total duration of 3 minutes each.
The first siren will be played from 12 to 12.03 pm, sounding for 36 seconds with a gap of 24 seconds, which will be followed by the second siren from 12.06 to 12.09 pm, sounding for six seconds with a gap of six seconds, which will be concluded by the last siren which will be a continuous alarm from 12:12 to 12:15 pm.
The People’s Daily, while reiterating that the drill will not interrupt normal life and daily activities, called on “all citizens, government agencies, enterprises, institutions and social organization personnel” to pay attention to the alarms.
While no specific information has been publicly stated about the alarms by the Chinese administration, it is reported that the first siren is a pre-raid siren, to turn off lights, with the second siren signaling people to move to air raid shelters, with the final siren indicating the culmination of the raid, after which people are indicated to return to their routine work safely.
In recent times, China has been upgrading the infrastructure of its Lhasa Gonggar Airport, which serves as a base of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF), and is now looking to protect it from an aerial incursion by New Delhi.
Located close to Bhutan’s Doklam region, there has been a construction of hardened shelters in the base in order for China to be able to deploy more fighter jets than before, with the new aircraft shelters also protecting its fighters from enemy missiles and bombs.
China has been wary of the threat that the newly modified air fleet of the IAF can pose with the 4.5 generation French Rafales already boasting an incredible track record for their successful deployment in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Central African Republic, Iraq and Syria.
The drill in Lhasa is not the first one, with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reportedly holding a series of drills in the city back in June, and now the PLA is holding several air raid drills across major Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai to mark the annual National Defense Education Day.
A retired Indian Army official, Colonel Vinayak Bhat, while writing a column for an Indian publication, India Today, however, feels that the timing of the drills raises several eyebrows with the last Chinese drills to mark the occasion in Lhasa being held back in 2009.
“In the current situation of ongoing border friction between China and India, this looks like Beijing’s psychological warfare tactic to create a climate of fear among local Tibetans,” said Bhat.
As reported earlier, China has been warming up their fifth-generation J-20 stealth fighters, who during recent simulation drills knocked down 17 enemy fighter aircraft, believed to be Indian Su-30s and Rafales, while avoiding all return fire.
Source: EurAsian Times “China Prepares For A Possible Invasion By Indian Air Force Jets Led By Su-30 MKIs & Rafales”
Note: This is EurAsian Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.
By Reuters Staff
SEPTEMBER 11, 20208:54 AMUPDATED 22 MINUTES AGO
BEIJING/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – China and India said they had agreed to de-escalate renewed tensions on their contested Himalayan border and take steps to restore “peace and tranquillity” following a high-level diplomatic meeting in Moscow. Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar met in Moscow on Thursday and reached a five-point consensus, including agreements the current border situation is not in their interests and that troops from both sides should quickly disengage and ease tensions, the two countries said in a joint statement.
The consensus, struck on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting, came after a clash in the border area in the western Himalayas earlier this week.
Shares of defence-related firms fell in China early Friday after the news, with the CSI National Defense Industry Index down 1.2% and on track for its steepest weekly decline since Oct. 12, 2018. Tongyu heavy Industry shares tumbled as much as 16.4%.
China and India accused each other of firing into the air during the confrontation, a violation of long-held protocol not to use firearms on the sensitive frontier.
Wang told Jaishankar during the meeting the “imperative is to immediately stop provocations such as firing and other dangerous actions that violate the commitments made by the two sides,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Wang also told Jaishankar all personnel and equipment that have trespassed at the border must be moved and that frontier troops on both sides “must quickly disengage” in order to de-escalate the situation.
The comments contrast with recent show of force by the Chinese military. China’s Global Times, an influential tabloid published by the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, reported on Wednesday the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were moving soldiers, bombers and armoured vehicles into the border.
Chinese state media also recently reported armed jump drills by PLA paratroopers in Tibet.
The Global Times said in an editorial published late Thursday that any talks with India should be paired with “war readiness”.
“The Chinese side must be fully prepared to take military action when diplomatic engagement fails, and its frontline troops must be able to respond to emergencies, and be ready to fight at any time,” the newspaper said.
“India has an abnormal confidence in confronting China. It does not have enough strength. If India is kidnapped by extreme nationalist forces and keeps following its radical China policy, it will pay a heavy price.”
Reporting by Beijing newsroom and Sanjeev Miglani in New Delhi; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Michael Perry, Lincoln Feast and Gerry Doyle
Source: Reuters “China, India agree to disengage troops on contested border”
Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
In my previous posts I said China has three ways to bypass Malacca Strait for the security of its trade lifelines to the east: the Kra Canal, Railway through Laos, Tailand to Malaysia’s west coast and rail and road link between China’s Ruili and Myanmar’s Kyaukpyu port.
Due to Thai political instability, there is great political risk in building Kra Canal. The canal may provide a shortcut to bypass the crowded and pirate-harassed Malacca Strait. It will benefit not only China but also Japan and South Korea, but due to Thai political instability, no one will take the risk to build the canal.
Even the railway through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia has difficulties to go through Thailand. China has been building and will soon complete a rail way through Laos to Thai border. As the construction of the East Coast Railway in Malaysia has resumed only the section through Thailand is missing and Thailand does not seem willing to build a railway to connect the railways in Laos and Malaysia. Therefore, the second choise of a railway through Laws, Thailand to Malaysia’s western coast to bypass the Malacca still has to wait indefinately.
Now, China is fortunate to have made breakthrough in building China-Myanmar Economic Corridor in 2018. China is now building Kyaukpyu Port at full speed and the rail and road links between Ruili and Kyaukpyu have been under construction or planning.
The US certainly wants to hinder China’s efforts to bypass Malacca. It has been making great efforts to attract India to join its Quad to contain China. The two countries believe that China will bypass Malacca through Kra Canal. As a result, according to eurasiantimes.com’s report “India Responds to China’s Plans To Bypass Malacca Straits By Militarizing Indian Ocean Islands” on August 25, 2020, India is expanding its military bases in INS Kohassa, Shibpur in North Andamans and the Campbell strip at Nicobar in order to hinder China’s shipping through Kra Canal.
As now China will bypass the Malacca through rail and road in Myanmar and begin marine shipping from Kyaukpyu, Andamans and Nicobar are too far away from Kyaukpyu. Moreover, Myanmar has leased Coco Islands to China. If India uses its military bases in Andamans and Nicobar to hinder China’s shipping from Kyaukpyu to Hambantota China, can develop a military base on Coco Islands to counter that.
The Myanmar route will enable southern and eastern China to bypass Malacca while Chinese areas to the north can use the Arctic route as shortcut to bypass Malacca.
On the other hand, northwestern China can use China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to bypass Malacca.
As a result, China’s trade lifelines to the west will be free from hindrance in spite of US control of the Malacca Strait and India’s attempt to control the Indian Ocean,
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Eurasian Times report, full text of which can be viewed at https://eurasiantimes.com/india-responds-to-chinas-plans-to-bypass-malacca-straits-by-militarizing-indian-ocean-islands/.
India and China hope to resolve border standoff in ‘expeditious manner,’ but dig in for extended conflictPosted: August 25, 2020
By Zhang Hui Source: Global Times
Published: 2020/8/21 14:18:49 Last Updated: 2020/8/21 21:22:34
India should drop its narrow-minded mentality: analysts
Photo taken on June 16, 2020 shows the medical supplies donated to Pakistan from the Chinese government at the Islamabad International Airport, near Islamabad, Pakistan. The Chinese government on Tuesday donated the sixth batch of anti-COVID-19 medical supplies to Pakistan at the Islamabad International Airport to help the country fight against the pandemic. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a verbal message to Pakistani President Arif Alvi on Friday, in which he mentioned President Alvi sent a congratulation letter to the opening of the second meeting of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism, which shows Alvi highly values the bilateral relations and CPEC. Friday also saw a second strategic dialogue between the two countries, during which speeding up projects under the CPEC was highly anticipated.
Political parties of China and Pakistan conduct regular consultations to build political consensus, which is conducive to the long-term development of the CPEC, Xi said.
The message was sent after the virtual second meeting of CPEC Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism ended on Thursday.
The CPEC is a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative, which is of great significance to deepen the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China, and forge an even closer community of shared future.
The CPEC is likely among the top agendas during the second strategic dialogue between the foreign ministers of China and Pakistan that ends on Friday, along with topics on a joint response to challenges caused by COVID-19, and other regional and international issues, Chinese analysts said.
The two-day second strategic dialogue, co-chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, was held in South China’s Hainan Province on Thursday and Friday.
This strategic dialogue is highly relevant and significant as the two sides will hold in-depth exchanges of views on anti-epidemic cooperation, bilateral relations and regional and international issues of common concern, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at Thursday’s media briefing.
The two foreign ministers agreed to accelerate the Belt and Road Initiative to benefit people of the two countries. The CPEC has entered a new phase with high quality development, and will complete projects under construction in a timely manner, create more jobs, improve people’s livelihood, and strengthen cooperation in industrial parks, human resources training, poverty alleviation, health care and agriculture, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Qureshi called his visit to China a “very important trip” before his departure, and the Foreign Office of Pakistan said in a statement that the visit will be important in further strengthening Pakistan-China’s all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and deepen strategic communication and coordination with China on a range of issues, according to Pakistani media reports.
Chinese analysts also called on India to be more open and drop its “narrow-minded” mentality following the positive cooperation between China and Pakistan; after India, in an attempt to divert attention from its failure in responding to COVID-19, decided to stir up trouble with the two countries throughout past months.
Fu Xiaoqiang, an expert on South Asian issues at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times on Friday that China has been coordinating with neighboring countries to jointly tackle economic and other challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, coordination between China and Pakistan — two “iron brothers” — in terms of economic and strategic cooperation is very important at this current moment.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused some delays to projects under the CPEC, and the two sides are likely to adjust the speed of delivery and come up with practical suggestions to further advance the CPEC, Fu said.
Earlier in August, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council of Pakistan approved the Main Line-1 (ML-1) project involving the upgrade of the railway track between Karachi and Peshawar — one project under the CPEC.
The Pakistani Minister for Railways Sheikh, Rasheed Ahmad, said on Thursday that the ML-1 railway project will prove to be a milestone in the country’s development journey, as it would boost industrialization and create new opportunities for locals.
The dialogue also attracted much attention from India’s media outlets, with some saying that fraught ties with India will be a “key topic” of the dialogue.
The Hindustan Times said Pakistan and China are looking to strengthen their ties while they deal with worsening relations with India.
“India has adopted a hostile attitude toward the cooperation between China and Pakistan and believes that China and Pakistan will soon unite against India; it’s a rather ‘narrow-minded’ perspective that does not conform to India’s position of a big country in South Asia,” Fu said.
India has stirred up trouble with its neighboring countries in the past few months due to the government’s need to shift public attention from its failure to respond to COVID-19, but regional countries should work together to avoid such situations, Fu said.
China’s coordination with neighboring countries comes amid tense China-US relations, and Fu stressed that China’s purpose was not to force neighboring countries to “pick a side” between China and the US, but strengthen cooperation to tackle joint challenges, contributing to a more stable and prosperous region.
Source: Global Times “China, Pakistan eye CPEC long term”
Note: This is Global Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Pakistani foreign minister expected to raise belt and road projects and disputed Kashmir in China meetingPosted: August 21, 2020
Neighbouring India is an issue likely to come up when Shah Mahmood Qureshi visits Beijing
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor includes two new power projects and the biggest rail line in Pakistan’s history
Keegan Elmer in Beijing
Published: 5:30pm, 19 Aug, 2020
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is expected to visit Beijing this week to discuss more belt and road investment projects, as well as border troubles with their mutual neighbour India over the disputed region of Kashmir.
Qureshi is expected to discuss the next steps in cooperation on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a US$62 billion project under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, according to a statement by China’s envoy to Pakistan last week.
Pakistani media reported this week that Qureshi would make a one-day visit on Thursday, although neither government has confirmed the trip. China’s foreign ministry did not reply to questions from the South China Morning Post regarding the trip.
Domestic media reports, citing unnamed sources, said Qureshi would discuss future economic corridor projects, regional security and Kashmir.
Both Beijing and Islamabad took issue with India’s moves in the disputed region of Kashmir last year, which remove special administrative status from the region and create two new Indian union territories, underlining claims to disputed border areas claimed by both China and Pakistan.
And both China and Pakistan have engaged in bloody conflicts in border regions since India’s moves last year, including a deadly border clash in the mountainous region of Ladakh between Indian and Chinese troops in June, which left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
According to Pakistani media reports, Qureshi said on Monday that cooperation platforms such as the CPEC and the Beijing-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organisation were part of his ministry’s strategy to push back against India’s “expansionist designs” in the conflict over Kashmir.
Claude Rakisits, associate professor in diplomacy, at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University said: “I suspect Kashmir will be discussed in the expected talks between Pakistan and China this week, but it won’t be as high on the agenda as CPEC.
“China wants to make sure that Pakistan doesn’t go wobbly, or move too slowly, on CPEC.”
Rakisits added that India, along with the United States, would be watching the China-Pakistan talks.
“But CPEC is a done deal and can’t be stopped. China has sent its message loud and clear on that one from Ladakh,” he said.
Both China and Pakistan have pledged that CPEC cooperation will not be impeded by the coronavirus economic slowdown affecting both countries, and new projects continue to be brought on board.
Last week, in an interview with domestic news outlet The Express Tribune, Pakistani Planning Minister Asad Umar announced that plans for the next financial year would be agriculture and science and technology projects.
Umar also announced that the addition of two new power projects with a capacity of 1,980 megawatts had been commissioned under the CPEC, and the official approval for the Mainline-1 (ML-1) rail line, the “biggest rail project in the history of Pakistan”, he said via Twitter.
From our archive
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Pakistan set to raise belt and road deal in talks
Source: SCMP “Pakistani foreign minister expected to raise belt and road projects and disputed Kashmir in China meeting”
Note: This is SCMP’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
China’s armed forces have so far not made any announcement about deploying fighter aircraft near the border though it is likely fighter jet squadrons are stationed near the long and disputed border with India.
INDIA Updated: Aug 19, 2020 15:38 IST
Hindustan Times, Beijing
The deployment of China’s most advanced J-20 stealth fighter near the border with India should not be over-interpreted in context of the Sino-India border friction as the tension is de-escalating, Chinese state media has said.
The long-range jets’ deployment, which is yet to be confirmed by the People’s Liberation Army Airforce (PLAAF), could be for the aircraft’s long-distance flight practice and part of the warplane’s protocols to adapt to different environment, Global Times, the nationalistic tabloid, said in an article.
The article was referring to a news article published in Forbes, which cited satellite imagery to claim that two J-20 fighter aircraft have been deployed by the PLAAF near the India-China border.
The J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium- and long-range fighter aircraft, and it was commissioned into air force combat service in 2018.
The aircraft were spotted, some 320 km from the border, at the Hotan airport in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
China’s armed forces have so far not made any announcement about deploying fighter aircraft near the border though it is likely fighter jet squadrons are stationed near the long and disputed border with India.
“The J-20 is a long-range heavy fighter jet. So, when deployed in Hotan, it can potentially cover many areas in Central and South Asia,” it said.
The nationalistic tabloid, known for its anti-India rhetoric, however, sought to play down the development.
The deployment if true is “…likely part of normal training on long distance flight and environment adaptation,” Chinese military aviation expert Fu Qianshao said.
China is a large country with many airfields in various terrains and under different climate conditions, and the J-20 needs to fly in more regions to adapt, Fu said.
The border tensions have already been de-escalating, and foreign media’s reports could have ulterior motives, the state media article said.
Earlier this month, experts had told the tabloid that the Rafale fighter jets were no match for its J-20 stealth fighter jets, days after the first batch of five French-made warplanes landed in Ambala.
Chinese experts told state media that the Rafale is only a third-plus generation fighter jet and does not stand much of a chance against a stealth, fourth-generation one like the J-20.
Saying that the Rafale is superior to the Su-30 MKI in certain aspects, the acquisition does not yield a significant qualitative change for India, it said.
“In some combat performance areas, the Rafale is superior to the Su-30 MKI fighter jets, which are in service in the Indian Air Force in large batches, but it is only about one-fourth of a generation more advanced and does not yield a significant qualitative change,” it said.
The J-20 made its maiden flight in 2011 and was first shown to the public at the 11th Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, in south China, in November 2016, according to the official news agency, Xinhua.
The fighters made their parade debut when the PLA marked its 90th anniversary in July 2017 at Zhurihe military training base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
In the backdrop of the ongoing border tension, India last week called on China to work jointly for “complete disengagement and de-escalation” on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), saying the future of the bilateral relationship is dependent on the situation along the disputed frontier.
Chinese troops are said to have pulled back from Galwan Valley, the scene of the June 15 clash that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and unspecified Chinese casualties, and some friction points, but the troop withdrawal hasn’t moved forward in the Finger Areas of Pangong Lake, Gogra and Depsang.
Source: Hindustan Times “China’s J-20 fighter jets near India border? State media downplays report”
Note: This is Hindustan Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Project will strengthen bond between two countries who share history of good strategic relations
Updated 14 August 2020
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), presently under construction at a cost of $46 billion, aims to improve Pakistani infrastructure and deepen the economic and political ties between China and Pakistan.
CPEC is advantageous to Pakistan but also carries substantial economic and strategic benefits for China.
Its importance for China is evident from the fact that it is part of China’s 13th five-year development plan.
CPEC will boost ties between China and Pakistan, which share a history of congenial strategic relations, over a versatile canvass of mutual interest extending over six decades.
In the past 65 years, both countries have developed strong bilateral trade and economic collaboration.
China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in imports and exports. And CPEC is going further to enhance the lucrative economic cooperation between the two countries.
If realized, the plan will be China’s biggest splurge on economic development in another country to date.
It aims over 15 years to create an economic corridor between Gwadar Port to China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang through the 2,700 km long highway from Kashgar to Gwadar, railway links for freight trains, oil and gas pipelines and an optical fiber link.
The project will create nearly 700,000 new jobs and add up to 2.5 percent to Pakistan’s annual growth rate.
CPEC has undeniable economic and strategic importance for Pakistan and China. It has been called a game-changer for Pakistan because it will link China with markets in Central Asia and South Asia. Presently China is some 13,000 km from the Arabian Gulf with a shipping time of about 45 days.
CPEC will shrink this distance to merely 2,500 km (an 80 percent reduction).
The shipping time will reduce to 10 days (a 78 percent reduction). The bulk of China’s trade is through the narrow sea channel of the Strait of Malacca.
Top security analysts say that in the event of a future war in Asia, the US Navy could block the Strait of Malacca, which would suffocate China’s trade route. CPEC, besides providing an alternate route, will reduce the shipping time from China to Europe.
The largest part of the project would provide electricity to energy-thirsty Pakistan, badly affected by hours of daily scheduled power cuts because of electricity-shortages, based mostly on building new coal-fired power plants.
The plans envisages adding 10,400 megawatts of electricity at a cost of $15.5 billion by 2018. And after 2018 a further 6,600 megawatts, at an additional cost of $18.3 billion, will be added, doubling Pakistan’s current electricity output.
The CPEC brings many benefits for China and Pakistan, but it is also challenged by security-related and political threats.
There are two major sources of threat: Indian involvement, and the separatist rebellion in Baluchistan where the port of Gwadar is situated.
Both dimensions of threat are interconnected because recent arrests of Indian spies by Pakistan reveal that the Indian government is spending a huge amount of money and resources on sabotaging the CPEC project.
Apart from espionage activities, India is also supporting the Baloch rebels. Nevertheless, Pakistan is well-equipped, with adequate security and infrastructure support to effectively deal with such challenges. Operation “Zarb-e-Azb,” which has received international recognition, has flushed out the major chunk of extremists from Pakistan’s soil.
The political side of the project for Pakistan is also not rosy.
It is always difficult to achieve political consensus on an issue. The Kalabagh dam project, for example, which is considered to be extremely important in addressing Pakistan’s water-shortage problems, has been subjected to political controversy and still awaits construction.
Similar formulas are being applied to CPEC. Drums of provincialism are being beaten loudly to make CPEC another Kalabagh dam.
However, this time sanity has prevailed in the political leadership and controversies were nipped in the bud at an early stage. Besides the efforts of political leaders, the contribution of the Army chief should not go unappreciated.
He took a special interest in this project and provided — and ensured for the future — the Pakistan Army’s full support for the mega-economic project.
CPEC has the potential to carry huge economic benefits for the people of Pakistan and the region. According to a recent estimate, CPEC will serve three billion people, nearly half of the global population. Thus a huge economic bloc is about to emerge from this region.
On completion of the CPEC, Pakistan will become a connecting bridge to three engines of growth: China, Central Asia, and South Asia.
It will create many jobs and elevate Pakistan to high growth rates, which will ensure Pakistan’s stability and serve as a deterrent to extremism and violence.
The completion of CPEC is not going to be an easy task because it has attracted international conspiracies, against which it must be protected.
The economic dividends of this project, by connecting all the economies of the region, are going to be so high that once this project is in full-operation even our neighbor India might ultimately join the club for greater economic benefits.
Source: Arab News “China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a game-changer”
Note: This is Arab News’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.