The 7th Joint Coordination Committee on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will meet today in Islamabad to finalise long-term plans for
The 7th Joint Coordination Committee on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will meet today in Islamabad to finalise long-term plans for economic integration between the two countries.
One of the six corridors of China’s Silk Road initiative, CPEC utilises $62 billion of Chinese investment to construct energy, transportation and agricultural infrastructure in Pakistan. The hope is to stimulate Pakistani development while connecting China to South Asian trade routes.
Although Pakistan and China have maintained a close security relationship for decades, trade between the two remained minuscule well into the 21st century. Since the two countries inked a free trade deal in 2007, bilateral commercial exchange has increased to $19 billion annually.
With China and Pakistan growing closer, expect Islamabad to remain a staunch backer of Beijing in international disputes. CPEC also presages a burgeoning alliance against Pakistan’s traditional rival, India. The agreement allows westward Chinese trade to circumvent India, sidelining New Delhi from the massive trade network Beijing is constructing in Central Asia. This is likely to flare tensions, which have been exceptionally high this year, between the world’s two most populous countries.
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