Monday August 08, 2022

CPEC will provide long term welfare for local residents

June 27, 2022

China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners. The two countries have formed a rock-solid friendship. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a landmark project of the co-construction of the “Belt and Road Initiative” by China and Pakistan, and an important manifestation of the ever-growing ‘Iron Friendship’ between the two countries.

The CPEC is of over 3000 kilometers, it is a bond, connecting the Silk Road Economic Belt to the north and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to the south. While building a bridge for economic and trade exchanges between China and Pakistan, the CPEC is also constantly enriching the connotation of a China-Pakistan community with a shared future.

In 2013, the CPEC was formally proposed and positioned as a “Four-sphere Integrated” channel and a trade corridor covering roads, railways, oil and gas pipelines, and fiber-optic cables; in 2015, the “1+4” cooperation layout was formed with the construction of the corridor as the center, with emphasis on Gwadar port, energy, infrastructure, and industrial cooperation. In December 2017, the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Vision Plan (2017-2030)” was officially released, combining China’s “The Belt and Road Initiative” and Pakistan’s “Vision 2025”. In December 2017, the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Vision (2030)” was officially released, dovetailing China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” and Pakistan’s “Vision 2025”, with focuses on development in areas including connectivity, energy, trade, and industrial parks.

CPEC construction bears fruitful results: Since its start of construction in 2013, the CPEC has created miracles one after another: China-Pakistan cross-border optical cable, Karakoram Highway upgrading and reconstruction project, Karot Hydropower Station, Lahore Rail Transit Orange Line Project, second stage of dam cut-off achieved at the Sugejinaree Hydropower Project, etc.

As of September 2021, the 22 priority projects from the first phase of the CPEC is almost complete, half of which are energy projects. For example, the Port Qasim coal-fired power station, since it entered commercial operation in April 2018, has generated about 10% of the power supply of Pakistan’s national grid. It is reported that the coal-fired power station will exceed 4.6 billion kWh in 2021.

During the first phase of construction, China and Pakistan are not only committed to improving energy shortage problems, but also focused on infrastructure constructions. There are many highlight projects, including Gwadar Port, Lahore Rail Transit Orange Line Project, Karakoram Highway upgrading and reconstruction project Phase II, China-Pakistan Cross-Border Optical Cable Project, etc. These mass transport infrastructure constructions are of great significance to Pakistan’s economic development. Thanks to highways and energy infrastructures, an increasing number of Chinese enterprises have come to invest in Pakistan, effectively promoting Pakistan’s economic development and at the same time, laid down a solid foundation for industrial cooperation in the second phase of the corridor.

Under the framework of the CPEC, China and Pakistan have greatly facilitated inter-regional connectivity through the construction of various infrastructure facilities.

Taking Gwadar port in Balochistan as an example, it is not only one of the four key points of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, but also a pilot project for the co-construction of the “Belt and Road Initiative” between China and Pakistan. In November 2016, Gwadar port was officially opened, and from this place, the first Chinese commercial ships set sail. From its humble beginnings as a small fishing village, over years of development, Gwadar port gradually turned into a regional logistics hub.

Qaiser Nawab Award-winning strategic communications expert