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August 6, 2020

Change in order?

Newspost

 
August 6, 2020

This letter relates to the article, 'Making sense of China' (July 27) by Amanat Ali Chaudhry. In the article, the writer celebrates the Chinese economic and military influence that has spread all across the world and pushed back against the Western, especially the US’s, hegemony in these spheres. However, the question is whether this new power dynamic will liberate the poor countries from the economic exploitation being carried out by the present dominant powers whom China will be replacing? Or is it that the new world order will only be a cursory change of names as far as exploitation of poorer countries is concerned?

We have seen how Chinese foreign investment, much like in the case of CPEC, in Sri Lanka and Myanmar has piled an unproductive debt burden on them. Since these countries were not able to pay it back with interest, they had to surrender their seaports to the Chinese government for 99 years on lease. In Pakistan’s case too, because there has been little public scrutiny of the financial arrangements for CPEC projects, there are serious apprehensions that they may become another IMF or World Bank like debt trap even more damaging for the sovereignty of Pakistan. It appears that we are merely celebrating change of overlords, and feeling happy about the temporary relief provided by this money injection, without apprehending the long-term repercussions on the future economic conditions of Pakistan.

Akram Sohail

Muzaffarabad