What is CPEC
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a major project of the Belt and Road Initiative which is proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. CPEC has become the framework and platform for comprehensive cooperation between China and Pakistan. The leaders of our two countries have attached great importance as well as rendered active promotion to the construction of CPEC.
History of CPEC
In May 2013, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang proposed the initiative of CPEC during his visit to Pakistan, which got positive response and support from the Pakistani government. In July 2013, during Prime Minister Sharif’s visit to China, an MOU was signed to start work on CPEC. Up till now, various projects are being implemented in a steady way, and are under smooth construction overall.
Importance of CPEC
CPEC is of great significance to the development of China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and the building of the community of shared destiny between China and Pakistan. It will provide new opportunities, and new impetus to China-Pakistan relations and bring benefits to Pakistan, taking the country to a whole new world of opportunities. CPEC not only has endless benefits for Pakistan but also offer scores of advantages for the entire region.
CPEC will effectively promote the economic and social development of Pakistan. The construction of CPEC will enhance connectivity and integration of development strategies of China and Pakistan, which is in the fundamental interests of our two peoples.
What Fields does CPEC Cover?
Both countries have agreed to promote a “1+4” pattern of economic cooperation, featuring a central role of the CPEC and four key areas including the Gwadar port, energy, transportation infrastructure and industrial cooperation. Pakistan and China will explore and expand the cooperation fields to:
- Science and technology
- Poverty elimination
- City planning and more
The Benefits of the CPEC
The building of this Corridor would add up a huge asset in Pakistan’s fund in the form of infrastructure. Its benefits would already be imminent during the construction phase entailing employment generation. The CPEC project is not only limited to the establishment of infrastructure or enhancing the importance of transportation and financing but also aims at undertaking commercial ventures in the energy sector by focusing on coal-fired plants and coal supplies, as well as, the hydroelectric and wind-generated power and solar plants.
CPEC visualizes major upgrades in the transportation Infrastructure of Pakistan. About $10.63 billion would be invested in the Transportation Infrastructure. It Includes Reconstruction of Karakoram Highway of about 806 kilometers in length, which was first opened in 1979 to the general public. Eastern Alignment construction that would be a link to major industrial areas as Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Lahore, and Sialkot. It will also be a link to major ports of Pakistan Karachi and Gwadar.
Energy is the major focus of the CPEC. About 70% of the total budget would be spent in this sector. With a deficiency of about 4,500 MW, Pakistanis face a routine power cut of up to 5 hours per day. It’s expected that by March 2018, 10,400 MW of energy would be generated as part of CPEC’s “Early Harvest” projects.