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CPEC – China’s most ambitious project in Pakistan has become a corridor to nowhere

Almost 7 years after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was established, there’s little evidence of its ambitious and grand vision being realised.

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Hong Kong: The four-times-a-week propeller plane from Karachi whips up a cloud of dust as it lands on an arid airstrip. Passengers cross the tarmac in the scorching sun and enter an arrivals terminal not much larger than a tractor-trailer. Outside, soldiers carrying AK-47s are waiting. This is Gwadar, a remote scratch of land on Pakistan’s southwest coast. Its port is the last stop on a planned $62 billion corridor connecting China’s landlocked westernmost province to the Arabian Sea, the crown jewel of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, designed to build infrastructure and influence around the world.

Plans originally called for a seaport, roads, railways, pipelines, dozens of factories and the largest airport in Pakistan. But, almost seven years after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was established, there’s little evidence of that vision being realized. The site of the new airport, which was supposed to have been completed with Chinese funding more than three years ago, is a fenced-off area of scrub and dun-colored sand. Specks of mica in the dirt are the only things that glitter. The factories have yet to materialize on a stretch of beach along the bay south of the airport. And traffic at Gwadar’s tiny, three-berth port is sparse. A Pakistan Navy frigate is the only ship docked there during a recent visit, and there’s no sign of the sole scheduled weekly cargo run from Karachi.

Less than one-third of announced CPEC projects have been completed, totaling about $19 billion, according to government statements. Pakistan bears much of the blame. It has repeatedly missed construction targets as it ran out of money; it got a $6 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund last year, the country’s 13th since the late 1980s. Two successive prime ministers have been jailed on corruption charges. And the Baloch Liberation Army’s desire for a separate homeland in Balochistan province, where Gwadar is located, has made life there uneasy. In May, militants stormed the city’s only luxury hotel, shooting up the white-marbled lobby and killing five people.

But setbacks in Gwadar point to larger problems along the Belt and Road. China is scaling back its ambitions, not just in Pakistan but around the world. Its economic growth has slowed to the lowest rate in three decades, inflation is rising and the country has been feeling the effects of a trade war with the U.S. The picture is getting even darker as a coronavirus epidemic that originated in central China threatens to cause further delays and cutbacks. “The biggest constraint for China now is its own economy,” says Jonathan Hillman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

In a number of countries, projects have been canceled, downsized or scrutinized. Malaysia renegotiated the terms of a rail link being built by China and scrapped $3 billion of planned pipelines. In Kenya, a court halted construction last year on a $2 billion power plant financed by China. And in Sri Lanka, new leaders said they want to regain control of a port in Hambantota that was leased to a Chinese company for 99 years when the previous government couldn’t pay back a loan. That takeover sparked concern in many Belt and Road countries that China’s largesse comes with the risk of ceding critical infrastructure. And it has increased wariness about the price of indebtedness to China, which the Washington-based Center for Global Development says puts at least eight nations, including Pakistan, at high risk of debt distress.

All that could result in shaving hundreds of billions of dollars off an estimated $1 trillion of planned Belt and Road spending, according to a September report by law firm Baker McKenzie. While the value of signed projects increased last year, data from China’s Ministry of Commerce show actual spending stalled at $75 billion in 2019 after falling 14% the previous year. Total spending from the beginning of 2014, shortly after President Xi announced the initiative, through November 2019 is $337 billion, government figures show, far short of China’s ambitious goals.

Pakistan may be a harbinger of bigger problems, according to Hillman, who directs Reconnecting Asia, a project that tracks Belt and Road progress. “That is generally where the rest of the Belt and Road seems to be going,” he says. “It’s not dead in the water, but I’m skeptical whether China is going to be able to achieve what it set out to do.”

All about Gwadar

Gwadar is shaped like a barbell dangling from Pakistan’s coastline. A strip of sandbar and rocks less than 1 kilometer wide at its narrowest connects to a rocky outcrop where the luxury Zaver Pearl-Continental hotel sits like fortress. The city of 140,000 is closer to the Iranian border than to Karachi, a 10-hour drive, in an area so remote it was part of the Sultanate of Oman until 1958.

Just getting around is a challenge. Foreign visitors must be accompanied by an entourage of 10 Pakistani soldiers in flatbed trucks. At the deep-water port on the eastern side of the barbell, there’s little sign of commerce on a hot October day. The only cargo ship that calls in Gwadar, operated by China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings Co., delivers construction materials and sometimes departs with seafood. Occasionally, it doesn’t arrive at all. A manager who answers Cosco’s phone in Karachi, where the weekly run originates, says the line is operational, but it’s up to the captain whether he wants to stop in Gwadar or go directly to Oman. The captain recently had a cold and didn’t want to stop, the manager says.

Yet Naseer Khan Kashani, chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority, maintains that all is well. Cosco was frustrated by problems with a web-based customs system, but it has been sorted out, he says, sitting in his office at the port. He declines to give figures for cargo volume. “Everything is going to be fine,” Kashani says. “The volume of trade is going to increase tremendously.”

That view is echoed by Zhang Baozhong, chairman of China Overseas Ports Holding Co., which operates Gwadar’s port and free-trade zone. He dismisses the apparent inactivity with a wave of his hand, comparing it to four years earlier when he first arrived. Then, there was only one flight a week to Gwadar, with a handful of people on it. “My impression was that this place was completely neglected by the whole world,” Zhang says. “I felt this was a mission impossible.”

Now, he says, there’s progress—$250 million in port renovations, including new cranes for unloading cargo, a business center, a desalination plant and sewage disposal. “This port is now becoming a node in international shipping,” he says. “Of course, the quantity is not big enough, but it takes time. By 2030, we believe Gwadar will be a new economic hub of Pakistan and will be the highest GDP contributor to Pakistan’s economy.”

Also read: As Modi govt doubles down on CAA, long-time friend Bangladesh moves closer to China

A free-trade zone was established in Gwadar in 2015, and officials say nine or 10 companies, including a Chinese steelmaker and a Pakistani producer of edible oils, have signed up. But there are no signs of any factories operating. An additional 30 are targeted for the Free Zone’s Phase II, closer to the site of the new airport, officials say, and $400 million has been invested so far. Zhang says twice that number of companies applied, including some from European countries. “It’s going to be established in the near future,” says Kashani. “They talk about CPEC slowing down, but nothing is slowing down.”

Upgrade needed

The zones still need critical infrastructure, including water and power, according to CPEC’s website. Construction began in November on a 300-megawatt, $542 million plant, which will run on imported coal and is expected to reduce the frequency of power cuts. An acute scarcity of water, with annual rainfall less than 4 inches, was alleviated by freak rains in 2018 that temporarily filled reservoirs, according to Shahzeb Kakar, director general of the Gwadar Development Authority. He says the city will meet future needs by building desalination plants. A plan for a “safe city” project with surveillance cameras may reduce the need for Gwadar to feel like it’s under military occupation. “We have three basic issues—power, water and security,” Kakar says. “All three of these issues have now been taken care of. Now things are moving in the right direction.”


Fishermen sort through their catch at the harbor in Gwadar in July 2018. Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg

Not everyone is so upbeat. Mariyam Suleman, the Gwadar-based editor of the Balochistan Review, says life for people in the area hasn’t improved much after five years of planned developments. “Their neighborhoods are still without good infrastructure; there’s a sewage issue; there isn’t electricity for long hours, especially in summer; and the water crisis has always been an issue,” she says.

Even if Gwadar weren’t under threat of violence and had sufficient power and water to build and operate 40 factories, it doesn’t have enough people to work in them. The city’s population, mostly fishermen and their families, is about one-fifth that of Washington’s. A proposal for a project called China-Pak Hills envisages a gated community with a “Hong Kong financial district” and luxury housing for 500,000 Chinese professionals who could move to Gwadar and provide a labor force by 2022—an influx that wouldn’t sit well with either Baloch separatists or the Pakistani government, according to Asad Sayeed, an economist at the Collective for Social Science Research in Karachi.

It’s also hard to imagine how Gwadar would need Pakistan’s largest airport, with capacity for Airbus A300 jets and 30,000 tons of cargo annually. Yet that’s the plan for the 4,300-acre area demarcated by razor-wire fence on the outskirts of town. Announced in 2014, the new airport was supposed to have been built by China Communications Construction Co., the largest builder of projects along the Belt and Road, with a $230 million loan from China and a grant from Oman. But construction never started. The following year, the Chinese government said it would convert the loan to a grant, and Pakistani officials said the airport would be completed by the end of 2016, then by October 2017. Still nothing.

Last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan traveled to Gwadar and broke ground on a new airport site. And a new contractor was announced to take over from CCCC: a branch of state-owned China Railway Engineering Corp. that would also build schools and a hospital. Completion is now scheduled for 2022.

During a visit in October, a tractor started up and began driving around the empty, dusty stretch of land without evident purpose. “They are doing as much as they can at the moment to show it is still happening,” says Andrew Small, author of the 2015 book “The China-Pakistan Axis” and a senior fellow at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund. Small says Khan’s government is simply trying to complete about $20 billion worth of CPEC projects already in the works, mostly power plants, under pressure from China. “The full-scale version is not really in the cards,” he says. “It’s going to land in a far more modest place than envisaged. It’s not going to be a game changer.”


The CPEC project was intended to reduce oil and gas routes from the Middle East by thousands of miles, a way to cut overland into western China instead of going thousands of miles around South Asia and Southeast Asia by ship. Pakistan was supposed to get 2.3 million jobs and a 2.5 percentage-point boost to its gross domestic product. The deal, negotiated by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and touted in a 2017 communique by his successor Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after Sharif was jailed on corruption charges, called for the corridor to start taking shape by 2020. It was described as a pilot project, a model for Belt and Road countries around the world.

Pakistan, long allied with China to counter the regional weight of India, wanted help developing its mineral-rich but poorest and most restive province. It also wanted to quell separatists in the Baloch Liberation Army who not only attacked the Pearl-Continental last year but also killed four people at the Chinese consulate in Karachi in 2018. The militant group was seeking to halt plans they believed would enable Pakistan’s government to take more resources from the area, rather than aid residents. Further attacks in recent months have killed more than a dozen Pakistani soldiers and security personnel.

China may have objectives besides better oil and gas routes. Western governments have long been concerned that Belt and Road spending is helping China develop what’s known as a “string of pearls”—ports that can be used by its navy, from the South China Sea across the Arabian Sea and on to Africa. Though China and Pakistan both deny any military intentions, Gwadar could be a stopping point on the way from Sri Lanka through the Maldives to Djibouti, where China has built its first military base on the Horn of Africa. China’s plans for the Pakistan corridor also include development in Xinjiang province, where it has attempted to curb unrest. The United Nations has estimated that 1 million Uighur people were being held in camps there, which the Chinese government has said was for reeducation and training.

If China’s interests were purely economic, says economist Sayeed, it could have helped expand the port of Karachi, already connected to the highway from China, instead of seeking to build new roads through desolate, dusty and dangerous Balochistan.

Also read: This ‘Green Corridor’ in PoK will ease agricultural goods movement from Pakistan to China

Strategy change

Whatever their ambitions, China and Pakistan have had to scale them back. Khan, the former cricketer who was elected in 2018 on an anti-corruption platform and who had criticized expensive infrastructure deals signed with China by previous governments, inherited an economic disaster. To address its current account deficit, his administration has cut imports, depreciated the rupee, slashed spending and raised taxes. GDP growth fell to an estimated 2.4% last year, from 5.8% in 2018, as manufacturing experienced double-digit declines and exports remained flat.

As for China, which has become the world’s largest creditor, it is refocusing on smaller projects crafted for the needs of recipient countries. Winning hearts and minds has become more important than announcements of gargantuan airports. Instead, according to guidelines issued by President Xi in late 2018, people-to-people exchanges in education, science and technology, culture, and tourism will help make Belt and Road projects “deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.”

All this seeks to downplay the more strategic aspects of what China has sought to achieve, says Nadege Rolland, senior fellow at the Washington-based National Bureau of Asian Research. “My hunch is there won’t be big splashes of money anymore,” she says. “The investments were only an incentive.” China’s ultimate objective, she says, “is not to build connectivity but to increase Beijing’s political and strategic influence.”

This means that even if Belt and Road spending ends up being a third of what was originally forecast, China may still have gotten its money’s worth. It will have broadened its influence in countries that are potential providers of natural resources, as well as future markets, and gained allies in international arenas such as the United Nations at a time when the U.S. is pulling back.

In Pakistan, an oil refinery in Gwadar and a railway and oil pipeline to China are among projects that have yet to materialize. An expressway connecting the new airport to Gwadar was supposed to have been completed by CCCC in 2018 for $168 million. It’s now scheduled to open later this year. In October, dump trucks with piles of rocks were parked on the edge of the existing roadway nearby, but no work was being done. The Chinese site manager says he’s too busy to speak. His assistant explains there’s no need for an interview, as all information about CCCC’s work can be found on the internet.

On a visit to Beijing in October, Khan assured Chinese officials that CPEC plans are proceeding. But with Pakistan’s budget maxed out and austerity imposed by the International Monetary Fund, it is clear there won’t be any big, new projects and unclear how many of the current ones can be finished, says CSIS’s Hillman. Still, both Pakistan and China pledged during Khan’s visit “to speedily execute the CPEC so that its growth potential can be fully realized,” according to an official communique.

Full realization may mean figuring out how much can be built to save face, provide some benefit to both sides and declare success. An update on the project from Pakistan’s ambassador to Beijing, published in Chinese state media last year, said 11 projects had been completed in the past five years and another 11 were underway, with total spending of $18.9 billion. It said an additional 20 were planned, without giving amounts, details or a time frame. There’s no longer any mention of the original $62 billion pledged.

Adding to Gwadar’s development challenges, other parts of Pakistan such as Karachi have started their own special economic zones. Even if the corridor to Gwadar could be developed and security issues resolved, there’s only the Karakoram Highway, an inhospitable, two-lane route through the treacherous mountains separating China and Pakistan. It is prone to landslides and threatened by attacks, and has yet to be connected to roads leading to Gwadar, says Alyssa Ayres, Washington-based senior fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It’s hard to imagine this as a viable freight corridor,” she says.

Hillman has come to a similar conclusion, though one with wider implications. “The Chinese are having some regret about making Pakistan the flagship,” he says. “There’s a lot more caution on all sides.”- Bloomberg

Also read: Counter to BRI? Why India-US’ thrust on Blue Dot Network will make China see red


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  1. China never give anything for
    Free. China policy show something and delivered zero.
    Example shree Lanka air port
    Which took by Chinese due to
    Non payment by shree Lanka.
    Better if pak learn and understand chinese policy in detail

  2. I am an indian.I don’t hate the Pakistani people.But I strongly believe that Chinese fooled Pakistan big time.They always wanted an alternative route to the west.Mallaca strait is their weak point.So they built this cpec and made Pakistan pay for it.There are no grants They are funding the projects .These loans have to be paid back with interest.Also
    chinese companies are getting business .The machineries are coming from China.A lot of Chinese people are getting employment.And Pakistan is going to pay for all this with interest.

  3. Forget about India and Pakistan rivalry but think about the angle how long it will take to complete .. the longer it take more money it requires mean more debt to Pakistan, any investor who investing money he looks for return and huge factor is Time,if it’s complete on time definitely it will solve some of basic problem of Pakistan like infrastructure , economy and job growth .. BY only in best case scenario n if it’s complete in Time .. if it’s delayed longer it will end up lot off economy pressure for Pakistan since all CPEC Debt is part of National debt n later time not able to spend those money on Pakistan people.

  4. Pakistan’s monkey dance will continue at the tune played by China. But the tired monkey will be dead soon.

  5. Hahahaha I am amazed to read what toilet less people are talking about Pakistan. Have you bastards Indians forgot 27 February , ” Kaise bajai thi Abhi Nandan ki Tan tan” but all these are questions of respect , which Indians do not have after 27 February at least in front of Pakistan. And Alhamdulillah CPEC is going towards it’s completion at a rapid pace. And Pakistan’s economy is getting the it’s fruits and credible international financial institutions are acknowledging Pakistan’s economic success. Today Pakistan is one of the most suggested tourists paradise by the World. But where bloody Indians stand today, more than half year of curfew and Muslims genocide in Indian Occupied Kashmir, after CAA blood shed in Indian Capital Dehli by state sponsored Hindu terrorists .Today’s
    India is becoming a joke in the World and India does not need Pakistan any more to become endia .Such fake columns by stupid Indian journalis is just a ” Dil ko behlane ko ghalib khayal acha hai”

  6. Hahahaha I am amazed to read what toilet less people are talking about Pakistan. Have you bastards Indians forgot 27 February , ” Kaise bajai thi Abhi Nandan ki Tan tan” but all these are questions of respect , which Indians do not have after 27 February at least in front of Pakistan. And Alhamdulillah CPEC is going towards it’s completion at a rapid pace. And Pakistan’s economy is getting the it’s fruits and credible international financial institutions are acknowledging Pakistan’s economic success. Today Pakistan is one of the most suggested tourists paradise by the World. But where bloody Indians stand today, more than half year of curfew and Muslims genocide in Indian Occupied Kashmir, after CAA blood shed in Indian Capital Dehli by state sponsored Hindu terrorists .Today’s
    India is becoming a joke in the World and India does not need Pakistan any more to become endia .Such fake columns by stupid Indian journalis is just a ” Dil ko behlane ko ghalib khayal acha hai”

  7. Being a potential rival to Hong Kong, your desperation and downplay of Gawadr is understandable. Best rest assure that CPEC and Gawadar is gonna be a booming and super successful phenomenon pretty soon. Just stay tuned.

  8. Year 2030… Pakistan still waiting for CPEC to be a game changer and turn it’s now bankrupt economy into Asian Tiger…Meow…Chinese know how to con people born with low intellect.

    • Take care of India which slipping from the hands of Barhamans. .not far the day when u will be counting ur pieces.. and Indian Muslins will create another Nudlim country…having Khalistan to replace India in our nebor…be ready…

    • Take care of India which slipping from the hands of Barhamans. .not far the day when u will be counting ur pieces.. and Indian Muslins will create another Nudlim country…having Khalistan to replace India in our nebor…be ready…

  9. Such an idiotic approach never encouraged the efforts and ways of prosperity to the region. Hats off to your narrow mind… Such a useless article. BS !!!

  10. It’s good for Indians to underestimate Pakistan, the recognised power on this planet. If underestimating is helping you sleep well then enjoy it. I am sure the writer is not bhangi but possibly sleepy…

  11. Cepec is a hard hitting tool both for India and iran. The biased article cannot undo the greT vision of chainees leadership and the commitment of Pakistan to make cepec a success. It is working, and for sure will work

  12. Gawdar port is good for Pakistani fishermen. They can catch fish and then sell to China. Thus Pakistan can slowly reduce their financial burden.

  13. It’s POK as the accession to Indian Republic was formally signed by the existing King of J&K. And then the illegal occupation happened from Pakistan. As far as Chabahar is concerned just Google it and you would know that its an existing port which has been operational since 1983 and India is just finding the expansion and also partnering as an operator. Which is far more financially prudent than getting into billions of dollars of Chinese debt trap.

  14. Hahaha..
    What a waste of energy and time from Hindu writer..
    CPEC is turning the fate of Pakistan…
    In a very little span of time Pakistan is enjoying the positive impacts of CPEC ..
    Pakistan’s energy have almost been addressed through CPEC energy projects..
    Pakistan’s heavy transportation through roads have become easier through the CPEC projects..
    Now the initial phase has been completed.. The second phase has started which is about Railway infrastructure and Gawadar Airport and the work on such projects is on full vigour..
    God willing , the Indian lobby will face disappointment soon…

    • Hindu Writer,Ahmadi Noble Prize winner,Jewish Social Media or Christian Internet. No wonder you people are going back into stone ages.

  15. Hi already beleguered China after the Advent of covid 19 they are to get away from.the nightmare as the entire China is reeling under demon virus as rightly accepted by premier Xi. It’s difficult for the country to think on Investment on these kind of u realistic projects where it never break even for.atleast 50 to 60 years from now , so then why would chi a to invest on such projects ,the tactic is to put Pak under it’s cover and trap them forever on debt. It’s very from the Chinese side that Pak is just a pawn and used for their hedgemony in Asia to counter raise of India . But China should understand that the market and population and technological prowess and military capability and support of all Western powers including Russia ,I think it’s difficult for China to co rain India any form either it should coexist and raise with India or take snub from opposing powers .

  16. Hello good morning hi sir I am heavy driver I am heavy driver in Dubai Pakistan and Oman my experience 10 years 5 years Dubai and 3 years Oman and Pakistan I’m Dubai licenses holder and Omani licenses holder I’m, 3 years working petroleum development Oman area slumber gel company and Halliburton company and MB petroleum company please I need a job

  17. This is a biased article sponsored by BJP. CPEC will be a game changer for Pakistan. Milk and honey will flow to every homes in Pakistan and then they will also get free apples from Kashmir once Pakistan regains Indian Kashmir. World bank will move their headquarters to Pakistan. Pakistan will occupy India by force.

  18. Happy to see its under discussion. Everyone have problems even individual or as a nation but ‘ currently we should look that what is happening in neibourhood and what in Pakistan.
    We ‘ Pakistanis have ability to live together with peace and we are working hard to get rid of the ones whonare stealing our traditions and they are among us.
    And we will inshaAllah

  19. To hell with China and Pakistan, as both the nations cannot success in there dream BRI as Chinese have over estimated Pakistan and less on terroristan beware my Mr. Jinping nothing but dust ur on badest bet of ur life time better to retain entire Balochistan and cordial relationship with INDIA will bear some fruits in FUTURE Or it’s your everlasting BONE IN THROAT as Religious/Cultural/Economical incompatible nation where Chinese are trying to shade the black hole with black mole, it’s IMPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE &IMPOSSIBLE,All the best.

  20. It is a great project for Gods Chosen people of Pakistan and hard working succesful nation if China ie 3rd largest superpower. India remain blackened and jealous with envy. I’m sure Kali Ma will be cursing Indian radical extremist govt. India has a log of poverty stricken population in the billions – too many mouths to feed and to little toilets.

    • The day is not far when the people of Pakistan will realize their resources and money is wasted on unnecessary goals,fattening the purses of few generals and feeding the Chinese companies only. Pakistanis should harness their great potential by harnessing its Geographical location, have professional relationship with India and look to March into twentieth first century!!

    • ” The Pakistan Approach to Total Sanitation (PATS) is a sanitation program adapted from the Community Approach to Total Sanitation by UNICEF in Pakistan. PATS aims to create open defecation free (ODF) villages in Pakistan by making the practice of saying no to open defecation a social norm. Dawn
      More than 40 million people in Pakistan do not have access to a toilet, forcing them to defecate in the open, which in turn is a major contributor to stunting in the country, a top Unicef official said. ” Dawn

      Too many toilets for God’s chosen people of Pakistan?

    • India was never jealous looked at your country what the present situation is completely insolvent and bankrupt, you cannot say Pakistan is a god country, were you have got the land in free of cost and Ammunition in charity,. God cannot survive such type of violent place.

    • At least we had toilets, large or small in number . How many u have got . And God has gifted u this opputunity to atleast feed ur people at gwadars , but still u shitty guys not able to do so instead of progressing ur terrorists brothers are scampering in ur own lands . What a shitty and pitty. What a nation u have got .

  21. Instead wasting your so much time in writing all this, it was better to concentrate on your own domestic problems and try to rectify them.
    World knows pak is having economical croses from last few years due to corrupt leaders like zardari and sharief bothers. They turn the pak economy into lowest low after their inception.
    Now, they are being able to gauge the current account deficit and even IMF has issued notifications regarding their payments paid to them for the betterment of their economy etc..
    In the future coming years, world will know the pak through its gawader port and china will also make best use of this route to expand its products and market reach.
    It is obvious reason that either Indians nor Americans or west want pak to florish and achieve new horizons.
    Why you didn’t write about Indian funded chahabar port in Iran where india want to bypass the trade through that route?
    What happened to that project?
    Why is that investment all went into garbage pit?
    Haters will hate, lovers would walk with ease.
    Note down after 5 to 20 years down the line, watch out for the next article and then see the same author would write something new and successful story of gawader trade route.

  22. The British colonised and impoverished countries, and later the US used its soft power (movies, music and liberal culture) and military might to subdue other countries. The Chinese are at it now, trying to debt-trap countries with their mortgage loans; particularly in and around the Asian region.

    The Chinese should be able to exert considerable economic influence, even globally, but it’s unlikely that they will be a world leader in political terms, the way the western countries have been.

  23. CPEC from Pakistan’s point of view is doomed to fail – one cannot achieve ‘development’ through such forced projects. In the absence of domestic Pakistani financial capacity, local demand for goods and services, an able local workforce and basic requirements like water and security, this was always a hot air balloon which began deflating as soon as the Chinese economy began to slow down. With India now finally beginning to talk of retaking Pakistan-occupied Kashmir – through which CPEC’s Northern artery runs – and unrest in Xinjiang brought on by Chinese oppression of Uighur Muslims, CPEC in its full intended avatar (railway, oil pipelines, super highway) would be a colossal financial risk.

    From China’s point of view, however, Gwadar is a strategic gain. A basic port facility and airstrip at the doorstep of the Persian Gulf has been created for use by the PLA Navy should the need arise; local politicians have been bribed to comply; and Chinese geopolitical interests enhanced. It is a security headache for India and the Western powers – but nonetheless one that can be countered.

    • What about chahabar port?
      Alternate route to bypass gawader😂😂😂
      By the way, don’t call pok, it is azad kashmir.

      • Baloch Liberation Army funded by India, don’t forget that we have your monkey: Kulbhushan Yadev, Indian Intelligence officer of RAW. You Indians went crying to the ICJ to get him released. So he was that important to you Indians? Jealous Indians will never speak about Chahbahar ports failure. Btw, the Afghan Taliban will take the helm of Afghanistan soon!!

      • It is Pak Occupied Kashmir. I think you don’t follow history or at least see what world sees in maps. Wait for some more days it will be regained by India back.

      • The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council is a supreme body consisting of 14 members, 8 from the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 6 from the government of Pakistan. Its chairman/chief executive is the prime minister of Pakistan.
        Azad in name, ruled by Pakistan!!
        A bit like the old Communist east Germany being called the German Democratic Republic!! ,,🤣🤣🤣

      • Managing Director of Ports and Maritime Organisation of Sistan and Baluchestan, Behrouz Aghaei announced on Saturday that exports from Iran’s southeastern Chabahar Port have been 190-folded in the 11 months ending on February 20, 2020.

        “Thanks to the applied modern technologies in the Iranian port, loading and unloading of goods boosted 41 percent in the said time, compared to the same period in the year before,” he said.

        “As of March 21 to the present time, loading and unloading of oil cargoes in Chabahar port have increased 50 percent and exports of non-oil goods have grown 28 percent, year-on-year,” he added.

        The Director General of Sistan and Baluchestan Road Maintenance and Transportation Department General Ayyoub Kord said earlier on January 1. that import of basic goods via Chabahar Port registered a 238 percent growth in the nine months of the current year (March 21-Dec. 22) as compared to the last year’s corresponding period. Hellenic Shipping News

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