Published Date: Mar 8, 2016
Sectarian, security issues: resolution to help bring more Chinese investment: ex-envoy
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be a real game changer for Pakistan if the country overcomes challenges including contributing in regional stability, overcoming sectarianism and providing comfortable environment to China.
This was stated by former Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Riaz Muhammad Khan while delivering a special lecture on ‘CPEC: A Geo-Economic Initiative,’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. “If we did not have sectarian issues and security situation would have been better, we would have got 5-10 times more investment which Pakistan got from China,” said Khan. He said Pakistan needs to handle not only the security challenges at home, but to contribute in promoting regional stability as well.
The country is facing three challenges on materialisation of CPEC including sectarian issue, regional instability and to fulfil the responsibility by providing comfortable platform including all required technical, feasibility study which failed in the past to deliver. Citing an example, the former ambassador said that it was very difficult to explain to China why their three engineers were killed in Pakistan when they came to help this country.
He said that $46 billion from China is very important but not big investment, however significant one for Pakistan which will be materialises in 10 year. Euro Asia & Myanmar are the two corridors of primary importance for China but the CPEC is of equal importance. China in 3-4 decades via (One Belt One Road) leads to $3.9 trillion largest foreign trade reserves.
He said, in the past, Pakistan has been thinking of engaging China economically. This thinking of Pakistan has been neatly tucked in ‘One Belt One Road.’ He said, on basis of a phenomenal economic prowess, China has shown over the last few decades, it has plans of investing globally for economic expansion and other reasons. ‘One Belt One Road,’ is the biggest ever Programme of building infrastructure after the Marshall Plan.
There are four important questions that need to be answered, before we could understand the CPEC initiative, he said. Which are; 1) China’s perspective on the subject, 2) Its scope and the underlying challenges, 3) Pakistan- China economic cooperation and, 4) lessons from the past cooperation and its limitation.
Riaz said Pakistan has been depending on China for economic growth, energy development, civil-nuclear cooperation in a substantive way, for a long time. Going forward in materialising the project, Chinese would need two important contributions from Pakistan, ie provision of security and the feasibility of the projects, which is reciprocity of efforts from Pakistan’s side.
Discussing different route options on the project, he said, it is up to Pakistan to evaluate its socio-political requirement for mainstreaming the Western route, China is comfortable with any route that is safer and economically better placed, which is the Eastern one. The project is mostly funded through the private investment of Chinese companies, who maintain focus on economic returns.
Discussing the geo-political connotations, he said, the US policy of Pivot-Asia is ambiguous and is security oriented. Whereas, China’s project is much more specific and it is based on commerce. Former Ambassador Shafqat Kakakhel said CPEC is an integral part of a much larger Chinese initiative, which is the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. CPEC is considered to be largest infrastructure development project since the Marshall Plan, after the World War Two. It focused on rehabilitation and re-sustainability of European economies. The CPEC project has two components, the road and the maritime silk-road component. Both road and maritime routes would join at Gwadar. The project would eventually affect 65 countries of the world. The project would impact 4.4 billion people across the globe, more than half of the world population.
From Chinese point of view the project has three components. First is to convert most of the Asian region into cohesive economic zone. Second component is 21st century maritime silk route. Third is that some US analyst say, CPEC is a response to US pivot to Asia initiative. CPEC is considered China’s pivot to Europe.
Zulfiqar Gardezi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, the CPEC will have transformative effect on the region. It compliments priorities; mention in the vision 2025. It would create additional incentive for Central Asia and Afghanistan to prioritize trade linkages with Pakistan, and through Pakistan with other parts of the world.Source: http://www.brecorder.com/business-and-economy/189:pakistan/23584:sectarian-security-issues-resolution-to-help-bring-more-chinese-investment-ex-envoy/?date=2016-03-08