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|Pak China Economic Corridor: Impact on Indo-Pak Relations
South Asian Studies
|University of the Punjab , Lahore
|Despite having divergent social, political and cultural systems and ideologies, China and Pakistan have maintained enduring and cordial relations after materialization of both States diplomatic relations in 1950. Nevertheless, close friendly ties with china is the main pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Form diplomatic relations to military assistance, strategic relations and economic partnership, all are the prominent features of Sino-Pak friendship. Due to its physiography at the junction of South, West and Central Asia and Western China, Pakistan is a country located in the region that is vitally important for world trade. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the current joint venture in the history of China and Pakistan’s economic relations, is a part of ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) Project. It aims to connect western China’s Kashgar region with Gwadar port in Pakistan through upgrading roads, railways, highways and metros. It is intended to rapidly modernize Pakistan’s infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones. Through CPEC, China will be able to trade with South Asia, West Asia, the Middle East and North Africa through a much shorter route. It will not only prove as a game changer for Pakistan and China but also for the entire region and at trans-regional level. Furthermore, China’s massive role and involvement at diplomatic, economic and military levels have to be explored through historically strong US-Pak ties and the provision of economic aid to Pakistan. On the other hand, China’s increased involvement, as a regional economic power and its multi-billion dollar ventures in Pakistan in particular and South Asia in general, poses a grave challenge to India’s deep seated interest and influence in the region. However, in this geopolitical scenario, India tilted towards the U.S. that is revealed in its growing cooperation and civil nuclear deal with the U.S in the recent years.
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