China Pakistan Economic Corridor fact sheet:
· China is Pakistan's most trusted and reliable friend. Both countries take great pride in their all-weather; time-tested friendship and relations transcend any expediency. These are rock solid and rooted in national ethos.
· Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1951, China and Pakistan have developed an all-season friendship that is based on equality, brotherhood and overall cooperation.
· In past years, the two countries have carried out multi-dimensional cooperation in various fields. Despite the unstable international situation, the China-Pakistan friendship has remained strong and vibrant. Recent years have witnessed a frequent exchange in visits between the leaderships of the two countries, further promoting cooperation.
· Since assuming office, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has declared relations with China as the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign Policy.
· The recent visit of Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif to China was successful as both countries signed almost 19 agreements on mega projects relating to electricity generation. These projects include the 330 MW Thar coal-fired power plants, Suki-Kinari hydropower project, the 660 MW Muzaffargarh coal-fired power project, 660 MW coal-fired power project in Qadirabad, district Sahiwal, a 99 MW UEP power project and the 900 MW Quaid-e-Azam solar power station projects.
What is the concept of Pak-China economic corridor?
· The corridor can act as a regional institution to boost bilateral relations. The CPEC is the name of regional economic integration beyond the geographical route; it represents the domestic institutional arrangements and macro-economic coordination between the two countries in the transnational flow of economic factors such as capital, technology, information and labour.
· China needs markets for its products and searches for raw material. Pakistan needs access to technology and equipment to boost its industrialisation process while it has abundant untapped raw material. Second, China needs to invest overseas to help digest its domestic excessive production capacity while Pakistan is in dire need of foreign direct investment (FDI).
· Thus, economic cooperation between Pakistan and China is not only complementary in areas such as capital, technology, labour and energy but also pushes for the integration of their economies.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
· The CPEC is a 3,000-kilometer network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas from Gwadar Port to Kashgar city, northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
· Proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Pakistan in May 2013, the CPEC will act as a bridge for the new Maritime Silk Route that envisages linking three billion people in Asia, Africa and Europe.
· An official agreement on the corridor was signed between the two countries in May 2015 during President Xi Jinping's historic visit to Pakistan.
· A flagship project of the Belt and Road initiative as well, the CPEC intends to revive the ancient Silk Road with a focus on infrastructure, and constitutes the strategic framework of bilateral cooperation.
· The project links China's strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan's focus on boosting its economy, including the infrastructure construction of Gwadar Port, together with some energy cooperation and investment programs.
· It also involves road and railway construction including an upgrade of the 1,300-km Karakoram Highway, the highest paved international road in the world which connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram Mountains.
· The CPEC will reduce China's routes of oil and gas imports from Africa and the Middle East by thousands of kilometers, making Gwadar a potentially vital link in China's supply chain.
· The China Pakistan Economic Corridor is the single largest investment in Pakistan that will trigger growth, economic activity and an even more important place in the world map as an important and influential member of the community of Nations.
· Under CPEC, China and Pakistan has launched a plan for energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan worth $46 billion, linking their economies and peoples in Asia and beyond.
· Economic corridor is not only a road to economic prosperity of Pakistan; it can be termed as future of the world. It is estimated that about 3 billion people from China, South Asia and Central Asia, would be benefited from the economic corridor.
· Islamabad and Beijing have decided that they will speed up the process of finalising a framework agreement for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
· The CPEC can prove a game changer not only for China and Pakistan but also for the whole world.
Propaganda against CPEC Route
· Some elements were spreading rumours despite a clear decision taken at a conference, attended by all political parties, that there would be no change in the corridor route.
· Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif made it loud and clear that the government would develop the Western Corridor for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on priority basis as committed with the nation in the All Parties Conference (APC).
· However, in this instance the uproar being raised is based on a misreading of the situation on the ground and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) government of KP is unnecessarily politicising this project in a continuity of its usual anti-PML-N rhetoric.
· There would be no change in route, both the eastern and western routes are being pursued, and on the request of the Chinese, the second route is being built first simply because it is cheaper to do so.
· The CPEC is a huge and complex project that will have to be developed in phases and the fact that the eastern route is being developed on a priority basis is a simple case of efficiency and expediency.
· The very fact that Punjab is more developed and already has a functioning network of roads and railways, which merely need to be modernised, points to why the work on CPEC has started there first. That is, to save both time and money.
· There is no malicious intent of the federal government evident anywhere and the east-west divide is imagined in this case. The CPEC will be completed after a period of years and work will commence on the western route in due course.
· Hence such premature assertions and the mantra of ‘rigging’ should be kept in check because it is not responsible to compromise the progress of the project simply because of inter-party bickering.
· No change has been made in the route, several routes and alignments have been identified of which the one that can be immediately put into operation by using the existing infrastructure is being opened up first, in mutual consultation with the Chinese side.
· No doubt the areas lying in the western part of the Indus Valley are tribal, underdeveloped and poorly policed. If such a big development starts there, it will make a positive impact on the social fabric of KP and Balochistan.
· It is also a chance for the government to reduce unemployment and deprivation of the Baloch and Pashtun people by laying the CPEC on a route that benefits Balochistan and KP.
PM inaugurates western route of CPEC in Zhob
· Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the western route of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Balochistan's Zhob on 30 December 2015 and laid the foundation stones of two key projects: upgradation of the Zhob-Mughal Kot section of the Dera Ismail Khan-Qila Saifullah Highway (N-50) and the Qilla Saifullah-Waigam Rud Road section of the Multan-Dera Ghazi Khan-Qilla Saifullah Highway (N-70)
· The Zhob-Mughal Kot Section is part of the western route of the CPEC which starts from Burhan on the Peshawar-Islamabad motorway (M-1), and after moving through DI Khan, Zhob, Quetta, Surab and Hoshab, ends at Gwadar.
· The Zhob-Mughal Kot section is 81 kilometres (km) long and its up gradation will cost Rs9 billion, and is expected to be completed by 2018. The Qilla Saifullah-Waigam Rud section is 128km long and will cost around Rs 8bn.
· The ceremony was attended by key party representatives and government officials, including JUI-F chief Maulana Fazal ur Rehman, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, secretary general of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) Mushahid Hussain Syed, ANP Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain Shah, National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen (retd) Janjua, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Federal Minister for Textile and Industries Abbas Khan Afridi, and Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo.