Question: The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same.
Answer: The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a multi transport infrastructural Corridor that intendes to join interior China’s Xinjiang province to the Arabian Sea through a shortest route.
- The CPEC is very important to China’s plan of economic development as it gives them instant access to the most busy trading route of the world without using a longer way through South China Sea.
- The CPEC will also involve construction of various infrastructure along the way such as power plants, along with the proposed all season rail and roadways. These projects are funded through a loan provided by the Central Bank of China.
Reasons for India’s opposition to the project
- Sovereignty violation
The CPEC traverses its path from China to Pakistan through PoK, which India considers as its territory. By using India’s territory without the necessary clearances, China has violated the sovereignty of Indian state.
- Economic trap
China’s previous ventures in infrastructure development has given India the clue of greater sinister design employed by China to encroach upon foreign territories. When the host state is unable to payback the loan, they have to give part of their land to China. This is called the ‘economic trap’.
- Minimal economic benefits to host nations
The economic benefits remain nil for India if it participates as it has the required access to trade routes. As far as boost to industrial outputs are concerned, they are in favour of China, as all the materials are sourced from them.
- Hegemonic attitude of China
China has been non accommodative of concerns of host state. The design and execution have to be carried out according to China. Similarly China’s repetitive aggressive action in north east has already created a bad impression.
There is no point participating in the project in the current circumstances as it has hardly any value to add for India’s benefits.
Thus, CPEC can easily be concluded to be another such attempt by China to increase its presence in the vital Indian Ocean Region. Pakistan, considering its economic condition is sure to face large problems when the loan period expires and payback has to be initiated.