Perspective

CPEC: The devil is not in the details

Updated Jan 11, 2017 04:50pm

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A guard keeps watch at Gwadar Port, Balochistan | AP
A guard keeps watch at Gwadar Port, Balochistan | AP

The first outgoing shipment of containers carrying Chinese goods departed from Gwadar port on November 13, 2016. The media event was attended by Pakistan’s top policymakers as well as a high-level Chinese delegation. Despite this important first step for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), many people in Pakistan still approach this project with a sense of cautious optimism.

Nearly all will say CPEC is a game-changer, but some will ask for whom? Others will flag that CPEC is the largest foreign investment into Pakistan, but many will question whether the country will be able to bear the debt burden resulting from it. Some will talk up how the various sub-routes could lift under-developed cities and towns, but others will question whether these sub-routes will even materialise as China is really only interested in the direct route from Kashgar to Gwadar.

To understand the policy motivation behind OBOR, one must realize that China is desperate to maintain its growth momentum, especially with the uncertain outlook for the global economy

This confusion exists because fresh information on CPEC is mostly anecdotal, rather than from a credible official source. People will highlight the increasing number of Chinese in the country (on flights, hotels, shopping malls, etc); the rapid pace of development at Gwadar port; and how the first Chinese shipment moved through different ports of Pakistan to reach Gwadar. Other than the recent shipment, concrete details are scarce.

Even so, Pakistanis feel the partnership with China is critically important for the country, though they are unsure whether it will materialise fully. On the other hand, the global reaction to China’s One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) – of which CPEC is a part – falls into one of two categories: those who think the project is simply not feasible in terms of scale, or the resources needed or the timeline; and those who fear that OBOR is China’s master plan for global domination in the 21st century (see map below).

Observers concerned about OBOR’s feasibility flag the sheer scale of this undertaking, and the apparent disconnect with available funding sources. Bankers will highlight the inherent risks in long-term infrastructure projects, which are compounded by the large number of participating countries. They will focus on financial/trade guarantees, regulatory reach/enforcement, and legal cover and recourse.

While none of these misgivings are unreasonable, we believe they fail to consider several key points. But the basic issue raised by sceptics is entirely legitimate.

So the 46 billion dollar question is whether these fine-print concerns could sink the project. Is the devil really in the details?

Map by Essa Taimur
Map by Essa Taimur

What China seeks from OBOR

To understand the policy motivation behind OBOR, one must realise that China is desperate to maintain its growth momentum, especially with the uncertain outlook for the global economy. In fact, if China’s economic growth slows significantly, there are legitimate fears this could spark social unrest and political instability.

In our view, the challenges facing Chinese policymakers could be ranked as follows:

  1. Secure shipping lanes. As the world’s largest importer of oil and gas, China needs to ensure that its shipping routes are not vulnerable at the choke point – the Malacca Straits. Hence, Corridors 1 and 2 of OBOR have immense strategic value for China, not just for fuels and minerals, but also to access Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

  2. Develop Western China. While the coastal areas are largely developed, Western China is somewhat neglected. For political harmony, policymakers need to focus on Western China, which explains why Corridors 1, 2 and 3 of OBOR originate out of the Western provinces.

  3. Use China’s spare capacity. Building physical infrastructure has fueled China’s economic growth. With growing concerns that policymakers may have over-invested, China’s installed capacity in steel, cement, bulk chemicals and heavy machinery, is now under-utilised. Building infrastructure in neighbouring countries would be a convenient way to use this spare capacity.

  4. Create new export markets. China perhaps realises that exports to the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which have been driving its economic growth, may continue to fall. In effect, it needs to cultivate new markets in Africa and Central Asia, which have significant growth potential.

  5. Create goodwill with neighbouring countries. OBOR entails establishing training institutes and schools in participating countries, which should support the project and be mutually beneficial.

While it is clear that China has to be ambitious, OBOR may not be quite as ambitious as it appears. For example, China may not deliver all six corridors, these corridors may not extend as deeply as envisaged, and each corridor may not include roads, railroads and pipelines as currently planned. But even half of the currently planned OBOR network would go a long way towards securing what China needs.

In fact, we believe there is a latent priority within the six OBOR corridors, with Corridor 1 and 2 on top of the list for strategic reasons. This may be why Corridor 1 (CPEC) has been the first order of business for China under OBOR. Taking a staggered approach makes sense, as it limits the resources that have to be committed upfront. Furthermore, negotiating the first two corridors is likely to be less problematic for the Chinese (compared to Corridors 5 and 6) as there are fewer participating countries in Corridors 1 and 2 (Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran) -- and some of these countries do not enjoy close ties with the United States.

China’s unique approach to economic reforms

Many third world countries were more developed than China in the 1970s. In light of this, China’s current standing in the global economy clearly reveals why its economic transformation is considered a miracle. After Tiananmen Square in 1989, China embraced economic reforms with even greater fervour.

The architect of this accelerated growth was Deng Xiaoping. In 1978, Deng challenged the Chinese to double China’s economy by 2000 and make China a middle-income country by 2050. China far exceeded his expectations when it overtook Japan to become the second-largest economy in 2010. Deng’s heuristic (learning-by-doing) approach to economic reforms defied the collective wisdom of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It is somewhat ironic that the development strategy advocated by the Washington Consensus, under which the World Bank and IMF operate, is far more ideologically burdened than the one used by Communist China to reform its own economy. Compared to Pakistan, the Chinese were far more practical – and result-oriented – in their approach to economic reforms.

Most importantly, China displayed the political will to change. But political will, while essential for the success of reforms, is not enough. An effective strategy is also needed and China used a novel one that yielded unprecedented results.

Bo Qu, a visiting scholar at Princeton University, highlights two key characteristics of China’s economic reforms since 1978.

It is somewhat ironic that the development strategy advocated by the Washington Consensus, is far more ideologically burdened than the one used by Communist China to reform its own economy.

First, economic reforms do not proceed according to a well-defined blueprint. Qu states that experimentation is a fundamental part of China’s policy formulation, and the process is primarily driven by specific problems encountered during implementation. In effect, the real focus should be on solving practical problems, instead of persisting with ideologically appealing, but ineffective institutional arrangements.

Second, China’s reforms were gradual and incremental, without hard timelines. Qu states that incremental reforms reduce adjustment costs as policymakers are able to balance the pace of reforms with social stability.

Despite starting as an under-developed agrarian economy in the late 1970s, China did not approach the international financial institution (IFIs) for policy advice or financial assistance. The stark contrast between this approach and Pakistan’s experience since the late 1980s cannot go unnoticed. Although Pakistan has been working to restructure its economy for the past 25 years, many would argue that little has been achieved.

China’s Family Production Responsibility System (FPRS) is a good example of the heuristic approach to economic reforms. Before this, China had communal farms with strict production quotas, where even meals were a group activity. The FPRS (which is still in force) allowed individual farmers to rent arable land from the government, in exchange for a specific quota of produce/crops. The rent was paid to the local government.

This simple idea, which effectively permitted farmers to sell surplus produce in village markets, was first implemented in specific provinces in the mid-1970s. When positive results were realised, these experiments were carried out with different crops, and then replicated in other provinces of China.

The FPRS was formalised as policy in 1978 – by 1984, 99 per cent of China’s total agricultural production was incentivised by the private gains of individual farmers. The scale of this change can only be appreciated when one realises that China’s rural population was about 800 million to 850 million people at the time.

This policy alone lifted most of China’s population out of poverty.

China’s success with large-scale economic transformation suggests that it would be an ideal partner to execute CPEC. But even more importantly, China’s tried-and-tested approach to reforms, which is incremental and open to change as the situation evolves, suggests that a lack of concrete details is not cause for alarm. This appears to be how the Chinese prefer to work.

Illustration by Sana Nasir
Illustration by Sana Nasir

Is OBOR a plan for global domination?

We disagree with the perception that OBOR aims for global domination. First, the specific focus on Asia (effectively ignoring Africa and Latin America) does not reveal global ambitions; and, secondly, since China is the third-largest country by landmass and the second-largest economy in the world, any of its long-term strategy – by definition – will be on a “global” scale.

What is harder to explain is China’s policy in the South China Sea. For a country trying to downplay the perception that it seeks to challenge the US for global domination, China’s strategy in Asia Pacific is surprisingly aggressive. However, changing one’s perspective could explain China’s orientation on this issue.

The Asia Pacific region has a significant US military presence. American bases in Japan and South Korea can be traced back to WWII and the Korean War, but have lost their tactical importance with the end of the Cold War. Furthermore, the continued US presence in Australia, the Philippines, Thailand and the Indian Ocean has the potential to disrupt trade flows destined for – and originating from – China. Since China’s hard power comes from its trade flows, the Chinese are justifiably concerned that a stand off with the US, on any issue, could easily strangle its domestic economy.

The geopolitical dimension of CPEC

While OBOR may not be a plan for global domination, it does seek to change the global status quo. Creating a physical corridor to the Arabian Sea will give China direct access to a deep-sea port that is close to the largest hydrocarbon exporters and a shortcut to Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.

One must consider how this project challenges the global status quo, the US control of global shipping lanes and India’s ambitions to control the Indian Ocean. The growing tension between the Asian giants (China and India) and the hostility between Pakistan and India explains why CPEC is so strongly opposed by India.

The resistance to Gwadar becoming a fully functioning port is perhaps being reflected by the troubles in some parts of Balochistan — specifically targeting the Pakistan Army and local law enforcement agencies. These terrorist attacks may be an effort to undermine CPEC.

For a country trying to downplay the perception that it seeks to challenge the US for global domination, China’s strategy in Asia Pacific is surprisingly aggressive.

Although Pakistan’s support for CPEC is clear from the army’s active role in guaranteeing security and the endorsement by Pakistan’s main political parties, if the placement of the various routes is hampered by bureaucratic red tape and provincial self-interests, the key Gwadar-Kashgar corridor could be the only route that will be built.

This “CPEC-lite” will fulfill China’s needs, but will not create the economic spillovers the other routes promise.

In the context of the geopolitical prize that is Gwadar, the following is a simplistic assessment of CPEC: China finances and builds the project, while Pakistan pays in terms of social and political disruption, and the loss of innocent lives. Given the strategic importance of the Gwadar-Kashgar corridor to China, this component of OBOR will surely be completed because it is motivated by more than just economics.

This is about securing China’s trade routes and allowing it to position itself in the Arabian Sea.

We believe this partnership with China could be the key factor that will place Pakistan’s economy on a more sustainable path forward. As China targets Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa as part of its strategy for the 21st century, it simply cannot afford to have an economically unstable partner in CPEC.
This geopolitical compulsion should generate the political will to undertake tough economic reforms in Pakistan and also ensure that CPEC is sustainable and profitable for the country.


Mushtaq Khan is Chief Economist at Bank Alfalah and holds a PhD from Stanford University.

Danish Hyder is a research associate at Bank Alfalah and holds a degree from Vassar College in New York. These are the views of the authors and not the bank.

LARGE_RECTANGLE_BOTTOM - /1029551/Dawn_ASA_Unit_670x280


Comments (55) Closed



Namobuddhay Nov 23, 2016 09:53am

China wants rule the Asia

saif Nov 23, 2016 10:15am

Misleading article. In the article, you are saying China has excess capacity and need to export to other countries and they can do very cheaply. Then how it will help Pakistan in producing same items? Pakistan cant compete with China in any manufacturing field. So in end, lots of debts with high interest rates will haunt in future plus zero industry development. Plus lots of pollution by Chinese trucks as they don't care for environment as we can easily see in Chinese villages and cities. Pakistani industries such as Cement+steel, chemicals, machinery will be destroyed as mentioned in article. "China’s installed capacity in steel, cement, bulk chemicals and heavy machinery, is now under-utilised".

brr Nov 23, 2016 10:29am

For a pro-China propaganda, this article does a good job. What is amazing is the total lack of any understanding of the cost benefit for pakistan - just a handwaving seems to be enough to cover it. And the whole pakistan approach to be "trust china". Is that state policy? Can that be a logical approach to development? So juvenile.

ali Nov 23, 2016 10:30am

it seems PAKISTAN is talking more about THE CHINESE ECONOMY than their own.

Human first Nov 23, 2016 10:52am

Similar joint ventures between India and Pakistan should benefit evryone.Hope some good sense prevails in future..

Vivek Nov 23, 2016 11:07am

Good article about China's role and supposed benefits from OBOR. It is true that CPEC is much more than economics and gives strategic advantage to China. But the future impact on Pakistan and real cost analysis from the Pakistan's point of view is completely missing from this article. Author did not address legitimate concerns such as debt repayment where the country is already highly indebted, future of local industry and manufacturing, High power tariffs of CPEC power projects ,environmental impact on the country etc. Just asking a simple question, will Pakistan's exports remain competitive vis-a-vis China and other South Asian countries after this Game Changer project?

Hasan Nov 23, 2016 11:26am

Totally wrong portraying of facts, people should refrain from such propaganda

Mohsin Ali Shah Nov 23, 2016 11:59am

Brilliantly articulated article that spans the many facets of CPEC that impact both Pakistan and China. This is an article that skeptics of CPEC must read.

Believe Nov 23, 2016 12:02pm

It is very difficult to believe China, even though there are lots of MoUs and joint ventures with China-Pakistan. There should be clear cut details of the project. To benefit pakistan - 90% of materials should be bought from Pakistan factories, For every 100 kms there should be Industrial parks all along the CPEC. pollutions cess should be charged for every truck entering the Pakistan from China, Valuable trees need to be planted all along the CPEC, Along with road there should also be rail network in CPEC it will long term benefit for Pakistan,

PM Nov 23, 2016 12:59pm

@Believe : Agree with your points.

Mahmood Nov 23, 2016 01:00pm

@Namobuddhay - NO, China wants to rule The World! Pakistan is just a stepping stone along the way.

Mahmood Nov 23, 2016 01:15pm

@Believe - Wishful thinking. But you forget all these ideas cost money and requires private sector involvement to setup industrial parks.

A shiny city on the hill is everyone's dream. Some even imagine Pakistan should resemble Dubai after CPEC comes into full force! Such pipe dreams, which are unrealistic with a mere $46 billion budget for the project. You are talking about an undertaking that would require Chinese, Pakistan, local private sector and foreign investment far in excess of CPEC budget!

Skeptic Nov 23, 2016 01:32pm

CPEC is the proverbial saving grace from China. Because our leaders - since the departure of Pervaiz Musharraf - have not been able to attract any sizeable foreign direct investment, private ventures or even aid from foreign countries to make the industry flourish in Pakistan.

You have to step back for a few minutes, and ask yourself, 'What if China had not been willing to invest in this project'? Where would Pakistan be? How many of our Arab so-called 'friends' have invested in infrastructure, or set up joint-ventures or industrial park to help create jobs for the locals? If the answer is NONE, than no one should even dream of Microsoft, IBM, GM, Chase of the US, or HSBC, Fiat, or VWs of Europe to set up offshore facilities in Pakistan, and invest billions like they did in India, That speaks of the failure of our elected leaders to promote the interests of the country - rather their own!

Ashfaq Nov 23, 2016 01:40pm

China has been able to develop its industry from scratch to a point today ,when there is a flood of Chinese goods with multiple innovations and as per customers need.They are able to produce goods for Europe and US and at the same time they have the capacity to provide these items to 3rd 3worlds countries with cheapest rates.Rather fearing of your economy to be effected by flood of Chinese goods, we should concentrate on our own domestic potential and boost our capacity in items which are our specialty.If we can sustain a bottom line with local produces being competitive to incoming Chinese goods , no question our industry is flopped.

Meer Nov 23, 2016 01:43pm

CPEC is more favorable to china but its also change the stance of Pakistan in terms of economy, Social, and environmental.

Mohajir Nov 23, 2016 01:44pm

This articles speaks on everything except the most important part COST. How will Pakistan re-pay the enormous loans of CPEC and what revenue will CPEC bring to Pakistan ?.

Pakistan has forex reserves of $23 billion and CPEC itself will laden it with loans of $46 billion ?. Srilanka ended up loosing it's strategic land and ports to China because of the same reason and Pakistan would be next in the line.

sara_afdal Nov 23, 2016 02:03pm

@Mahmood China is already ruling the world economically and financially. Even America looks at China to borrow.

Allahdino M H Kango Nov 23, 2016 02:17pm

Rubbish. Everyone has priorities. China has its own. Let she strive for it. Pakistan must not speculate any thing and act as think-tank for China's rivals. You must think of Pakistan's interests. How could you take advantage of CPEC to develop Pakistan. Think of your priorities and see how you can take advantage. Help China and help yourself.

Zafar Nov 23, 2016 02:19pm

We were too qucik to jump in China's lap which is very typical of our leaders because all they care about is where the next aid package is coming from. We have been sold to China and we can see how the Chinese treat their own which will give us an idea of how they are going to treat us!!

Gazab Nov 23, 2016 02:22pm

@Believe Very well said .

Pakistani Nov 23, 2016 02:28pm

Please stop.

Lets just get on with it.

Having 18,000 MW of power, new road, rail and fibre links will NOT harm Pakistan

What we need to do is not try to sabotage it, but ensure we can gain maximum benefit from it.

So focus on education (not the madrassa inspired hate preaching type), train the work force, have the rule of law (basic stuff like littering, traffic rules), take small arms off the streets, become an equitable and tolerant society

We will rise

zafar Nov 23, 2016 02:28pm

India already has dominion over the Indian ocean and will continue to do so. It has the largest economy, most powerful navy and longest coastline in the region. Its home ground advantage for India.

Syed F. Hussaini Nov 23, 2016 02:29pm

Money made in Pakistan by the industry and business leaves the country for three major reasons:

The avenues to reinvest in the country are limited, restricted, controlled.

The money does not feel safe within the country.

The money, when shipped out, makes more profit.

The Chinese money is landing in Pakistan for the same reasons.

The Chinese billionaires are doing it for themselves.

There is a void in Pakistan due to the lack of infrastructure and a robust industry.

The Chinese have found a gold mine in this void.

The Chinese investors won the bid to to work this gold mine.

The Pakistani bidders lost.

Still, some Pakistanis are destined to benefit from this arrangement.

Satyameva Jayate Nov 23, 2016 02:59pm

@sara_afdal - USA DOES NOT BORROW from any other country or institution. Other countries, and China, invest in USA and take on USA;s 'sovereign risk'. If US$ goes down China is the biggest victim.

Mushtaque Ahmed Nov 23, 2016 03:08pm

Dear web editor,

Pls correct the spelling of 'Gwadar' in the para below:

This confusion exists because fresh information on CPEC is mostly anecdotal, rather than from a credible official source. People will highlight the increasing number of Chinese in the country (on flights, hotels, shopping malls, etc); the rapid pace of development at Gwadar port; and how the first Chinese shipment moved through different ports of Pakistan to reach Gwadae. Other than the recent shipment, concrete details are scarce.

Regards.

Zeeshan Nov 23, 2016 03:41pm

CPEC investment totals $ 46 billion out of which $16 Billion invested in Trade route and the remaining will be invested in Power Projects which is around $ 36 Billion. if Pakistan unable to convert power projects to increase its exports , CPEC will be nightmare for Pakistan because of high interest debt burden. Pakistan should negotiate with China to invest in Pakistan local industry.China knows that you cant be competitive at high cost of production.

aMANULLAH kHAN Nov 23, 2016 03:46pm

Well articulated full of information article. We the Pakistanis particularly those who could be the worst sufferers do not have the access to the details of the MO U's and agreements signed between Pakistan and China. Professor Ahsan Iqbal the Minister and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission has kept the details as the "top secret" how come we can ask China to share the details of OBOR -I of China. I believe strongly that China will not betray Pakistan at any cost. Majority of Pakistanis are believers of 'Easy Money' so we need business without putting enough hard work. Look at APTMA which has become a white elephant for our weak economy but still the rulers meet its undesired demands and sacrifice taxes to feed it. Chinese are shrude business men. For the greedy Pakistani businessmen it will be very difficult to compete with Chinese. Forging partnerships with Chinese investors will be the only option to remain in the business.

RAVEENDRA NATH Nov 23, 2016 03:54pm

@saif - CPEC's first beneficiary - if not whole beneficiary - is CHINA and Pakistan will benefit through residual benefits.

Tariq, Lahore Nov 23, 2016 04:14pm

Have Pakistani authorities ensured that Pakistan will become China's dumping ground?? I doubt very much!

Sabeeh Ahmad Nov 23, 2016 04:15pm

Though China is considered very trusted friend and CPEC is the latest example of it, But on the other hand China has import duty structure of 21% on Pakistani yarns. Pakistan balance of trade with China is on negative side, means too much imports and less exports to China. Still there are import dutyies on Pakistani YARNS AND FABRICS.. wHY????

invertebrate Nov 23, 2016 04:22pm

Insightful analysis of the geopolitical dimension of CPEC

subh Nov 23, 2016 04:41pm

@saif Thats the reality my friend. CPEC is good for china and what ever extra jobs or ancillary industries develop in Pakistan will be incidental. Pakistan needs to smartly identify & establish industries which can utilize CPEC routes to export

MohSin Nov 23, 2016 04:44pm

Is there a place where we can read the complete agreement?

danish Nov 23, 2016 05:02pm

I'll try to address some of the main concerns raised by readers.

Let's restate our main premise: By partnering with countries under OBOR, China is not just seeking to bolster its economy, it is also attempting to forge long-term political ties with its partners, as any emerging superpower would. This should be uncontroversial.

Pakistan is a potentially important ally to China because of Gwadar. This is key. Gwadar allows China to establish a firm presence in the Arabian Sea, which it needs to do to realize its 21st century ambitions. For an economic giant like China, the geopolitical value of easy access to Gwadar likely outweighs the value of beggaring Pakistan through burdensome debt and the dumping of goods, thereby risking loss of access to the port or an economically (and hence politically) unstable partner.

Our faith is not in China's goodwill- it is in China's ability to secure its long-term interests. Luckily, for now their interests line up nicely with ours.

mansoor mubeen Nov 23, 2016 05:21pm

a well researched article but it fails to answer one basic question. where is the 46 billion dollars investment . why a single million is not reflected in FDI so far. uptill now it is the pakistani banks alone who have raised the finance for CPEC

Syed F. Hussaini Nov 23, 2016 05:40pm

@MohSin

No. Some NA members raised this issue in the House and they were told by the government the details were sensitive and could not be made public. The government said the MNAs could view the plans in the speakers chamber. The minister concerned had brought the plans in secure envelopes. Dawn reported this.

Syed F. Hussaini Nov 23, 2016 05:50pm

@MohSin

CPEC agreement is confidential, Ahsan Iqbal tells Senate

http://www.dawn.com/news/1273776

king Nov 23, 2016 06:14pm

Can someone calculate for me?

If $100 cargo travel 100km on CPEC how mach pakistan earn. You will know CPEC a good or bad deal.

True Indian Nov 23, 2016 06:26pm

In my opinion the best thing is to have a trade and investment deals between India and Pakistan by stop worrying too much about the Kashmir issue. This issue has been at the core of poverty and failure to achieve the true economic potential of both India and Pakistan. Fortunately or unfortunately we have the same culture and to some extend we have similar business ethics, (although I must stress that in India the business ethics and investment is slighlty better than that in Pakistan). India and Pakistan has the potential of becoming a free economic zone in itself and eventually we will not have to depend on anyone's mercy!

Bipul Nov 23, 2016 06:30pm

China will make great profits from CPEC and loan interests. Congratulations Pakistan.

Syed F. Hussaini Nov 23, 2016 07:17pm

@king

It is an arrangement between the two states at the very top level.

Kaushal Nov 23, 2016 07:23pm

In form of CPEC, Pakistan has not given way to China for development but offered a way to jeopardizing the whole economical, environmental and strategic balance of the region. The effect will be seen immediately in form of unemployment, closure of local manufacturing units, dumping of Chinese goods in regional markets together with pollution of environment and culture. Soon it will be a menace for Pakistan.

A. Kazi Nov 23, 2016 07:34pm

@Pakistani - Well said - The way the people are writing that we are the cleanest country who has solid infra structure, with lots of options for development. Reality is we are nation of illiterate people with no civic sense and negative likeability in the world.

When I visit Pakistan, the largest airport looks like a ghost town. There is so much garbage on the street (even in the influential area) that I do not know what to say to my kids, who have visited more than 10 other countries. The way people drive (following the traffic rules) is not even funny. Law and order, I do not have to say anything. Corruption, I do not know where to start. Extremism - we have cross all the limits - If some one does not agree with your thoughts, kill them

Focus improving these things, and use the opportunity which comes to you. Remember - beggars are not choosers.

Raj Patel Nov 23, 2016 07:50pm

Pakistani people still don't get that nobody is working for you. You need to work for you. And there is no free lunch any where in the world. You enter in a game and fetch whatever points you can. Nobody will fetch points for you as there is no umpire in this game.

lEO Nov 23, 2016 07:59pm

Very nicely defined by a senior Economist in the USA : "Pakistan has just sold it's property for some instant money. They are shifting to a rented accommodation now "...sad but true..

lEO Nov 23, 2016 08:00pm

@A. Kazi : I agree with you !

adi Nov 23, 2016 08:37pm

@MohSin its in a safe in panama

sukhera Nov 23, 2016 09:02pm

CPEC is polarizing subject in Pakistan. The way I see it the whole project is for the benefit of China which will save millions of dollars in shipping costs and Time for Chinese companies. What is in it for Pakistan, the air and teh noise pollution

zak Nov 23, 2016 09:11pm

Regardless of reservations and fault picking, CPEC is a game changer. This article is very good and Indians should lobby their govt to resolve kashmir and join CPEC, instead of trying to spoil regional progress and keeping their own citizens hungry.

zak Nov 23, 2016 09:18pm

@Vivek read the article again, China's common sense approach is 'incremental' which means it adjusts as circumstances change and this approach will be in tandem with Pakistan's. To strenghten pakistan economically, China will ensure economic benefits flow to pakistan, so that it is not economically dependent on anyone or can be influenced by anyone. Indians have left themselves out of global benefits. Killing resentful kashmiris and keeping its own citizens poor is bad and sad policy doomed to failure.

zeeshan Nov 23, 2016 10:02pm

@Kaushal China will surely secure its interest , it is the responsibility of Pakistani leadership how to capitalize this opportunity.

BAXAR Nov 24, 2016 07:24pm

CPEC project is the result of the change in world order. The game changer is the new order. China, the biggest market, is controlled by itself, so now in position to benefit the most. West's interest in Asia will flow through China, because of its increasing inability to control Asia militarily as it did in last 3 centuries. The limit of western powers is evident as the next big market, the subcontinent, slipped out of its hand. China played it's role well in that regard, mainly via Pakistan. Left with no option, technology will be the sole bread earner of the west, incl. JP & S Korea, but it cannot generate jobs in the west. Division in west is evident. Each country will compete to survive. The resulting competition is to get China as distribution agency. CPEC is one the the future distribution line. Any attempt to disrupt can endanger the future of all, not just China.

The_Observer Nov 26, 2016 11:15am

Excellent analysis

Mohammed Ansari Nov 27, 2016 01:29pm

What about the coal fired power stations,,they say coal will be imported from China despite having large coal mines...very gud...

mohamedismail Nov 29, 2016 09:09pm

wait when they will take over the whole of the region as they did take over the south china sea. They have a bad history of taking over tibet, and other neighbouring areas.