The history of Pak-China relations can be traced back since 1950. Both the countries managed their relationship in a very productive and articulated way. Both of them helped each other at crucial times. Pakistan helped China to connect to the world. Pakistan advocated and supported the admission of China in UN system and permanent member of UN Security Council. On the other hand, China also supported Pakistan during times of need and helped Pakistan built its military and economic capabilities, especially Heavy Mechanical Complex, Taxila in 1968. Over the years both countries developed a strong bond of trust. Trust always has been a key element of strong relations. Building on the past, Chinese foreign policy gives a special focus to Pakistan in future endeavors of China. China Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC, is one of the most prominent examples of that. So what is all this hype about?
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
CPEC, is a collection of projects currently under construction at a cost of 46 billion dollars, intended to rapidly expand and upgrade Pakistani infrastructure as well as deepen and broaden economic links between Pakistan and China. The corridor is considered to be an extension of China’s ambitious proposed 21st century Silk Road initiative, and the importance of CPEC to China is reflected by its inclusion as part of China’s 13th five-year development plan.
Since the last decade, the two governments had been working on the concept for a long time (almost two decades). Both countries tried to move on bit-by-bit and smooth the process to implement the final phase. Joint Deceleration of 2003, after the visit of President Musharraf, is first document, which outlined the future cooperation plans of two countries.
Former President Asif Ali Zardari also pursued the whole development very actively to secure CPEC and cooperation from China during the last PPP led government.
Estimation of Local Component in CPEC President Xi during his visit inaugurated some projects along with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (Present). The economic significance of the CPEC is very high. It will give an impetus to economic growth and development.
Present development of CPEC
The National Assembly was informed on Thursday (11th August 2016) that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help expand the transit, bilateral and regional trade in future which will have a positive impact on Pakistan’s economy.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif quoted on Thursday Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a gift from China to Pakistan. Also, that the Western Route will be completed by the end of 2018.
As a whole, CPEC projects are changing the face of Pakistan’s economy. Such a huge investment never happened in Pakistan’s accumulative FDI history since 1950. The CPEC investments amount to 10 percent of Pakistan’s total GDP at present value. A miracle is in the making on the Indus River.