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China–Pakistan Economic Corridor : News & Discussions

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Agent_47, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    When the United States added Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (TTP-JA), a faction of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), to the terror list in July 2016 following their claim of responsibility for a failed car bombing in Manhattan, it helped to push the group out of the tribal region of Pakistan and into areas that China was eying for their multibillion economic corridor project. This was part of a larger strategy that eventually created immeasurable headaches for both the security establishment in Islamabad and officials in Beijing, potentially causing billions of dollars in losses for both. Given Washington’s growing acrimonious ties with Pakistan and desire to constrain China’s expansion, this seems a fortuitous coincidence. But was it simply an unplanned consequence of Washington’s war on terror, or a calculated outcome set into motion specifically to keep Pakistan and China in check?

    It’s no secret that Pakistan has fallen out of Washington’s good graces in recent times. The current dip in relations culminated in a U.S. bill introduced on September 20 seeking to officially designate Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism. Pakistan has also seen the writing on the wall, allegedly using their networks to disrupt progress in Afghanistan and cozying up to China as a new source for weapons and economic growth. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), for which China announced nearly $50 billion in funding in late 2014, would be the triumph of their growing relationship. This was certainly unwelcome news for the United States, who had a cautious eye on both countries, but there was no way for Washington to directly intervene. Indirectly, however, Washington seems to have succeeded in meddling with the project through a recent intensification of operations in east Afghanistan.

    When the TTP-JA was added to the U.S. State Department’s global terrorist list, it significantly expanded Washington’s options for dealing with the organization. The United States has already used drone strikes against designated Taliban groups in a number of instances, including a May 21 strike in Pakistan’s Balochistan that killed TTP leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour and a November 2015 strike that killed another commander, Khan Saeed, in the Khost province of Afghanistan. As illustrated by precedents involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, and various Islamic State (ISIS) holdings, when the United States puts a group on the list, they intend to target it aggressively.

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    At the same time, security forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan aren’t sitting idly by, waving to drones as they buzz overhead and leaving all of the work for the Americans. In the last week of July alone, joint U.S.-Afghan operations killed an estimated 300 ISIS militants in eastern Afghanistan. In Pakistan, security forces have launched no less than three large-scale operations against TTP elements in the Federally Administered Tribal Region (FATA) that borders Balochistan, also reportedly killing hundreds militants since they began in 2014. Operation Khyber 3, launched on August 17, claimed 14 militant lives in its opening salvo.

    Now, where can the militants run? Traditionally, Kabul and Islamabad both blame the other for abetting TTP and other terrorist groups in their borders, and to an extent both are correct. The porous border region between the two countries is much like the wild west, and terrorists enjoy a relatively large amount of freedom of movement in the less secure areas. As Pakistan turns up the heat in the FATA, militants are pushed into Afghanistan, and vice versa when Afghanistan kicks up operations. Now, with nowhere to run on either side of the border, many tribal militants are now making a home for themselves in nearby Balochistan.

    Unlike in traditional Taliban strongholds, Balochistan’s security arrangements are much less comprehensive. The same areas in Quetta, Balochistan’s capital city, are targeted over and over and over despite, or perhaps because of, headway in the FATA. And while the dominant ethnic group of the province is Baloch, there is still a sizable Pashtun population in northern Balochistan to blend into, including in and around Quetta. Balochistan also has its own border with Afghanistan that militants can move through.

    Not only are TTP-JA and other Taliban elements being pushed into Balochistan, but they are now more actively carrying out attacks, which is hardly an unpredictable consequence. Between their founding in 2007 and when the United States added the TTP to the terror list on September 1, 2010, the TTP had claimed or is believed to have carried out at least 16 attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere that resulted in an estimated 370 deaths. After their addition to America’s global terror list, the TTP carried out approximately 32 attacks over the next three years, resulting in almost 700 more deaths. That is a 2:1 ratio in the frequency of attacks and amount of victims killed for the three year periods before and after the designation.

    It would be a gross oversimplification to suggest that the uptick in activity was owed solely to American forces targeting the TTP in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but many of the attacks claimed by the TTP were stated to be retaliatory measures against U.S. strikes carried out in the area. It certainly suggests, at the very least, that Washington’s targeting of the TTP both drove them further out of their traditional areas of influence, and challenged them to retaliate for the losses that they accrued.

    The pattern has begun to repeat itself with the TTP-JA. In no small part thanks to the dual squeeze put on the group by the U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan combined with the ongoing Pakistani Khyber operations, the TTP-JA has already increased their activity in Balochistan. Before July, the TTP-JA had claimed or is believed to have been responsible for six attacks resulting in approximately 160 deaths. In August and September alone, the TTP-JA is believed to have already carried out five attacks resulting in a further 135 deaths, mostly in Quetta. The beginnings of a worrisome trend, to be sure, but more importantly it illustrates that when the United States begins targeting new militant groups along the Afghan-Pakistani border, the result predicatively appears to be an increase in terror in Pakistan. It’s simple math, and no doubt was at least part of the overall decision-making calculus behind commencing operations against the TTP-JA to begin with. If the security and intelligence establishments in the United States consider this outcome to be an unfortunate part of doing business or a deliberate means to an altogether different end still remains an open question.

    The border squeeze has certainly complicated matters for China and their CPEC project. China’s concerns over Balochistan’s security are longstanding, and recent developments have done little to raise Beijing’s confidence. In order to protect Chinese workers in the country, Pakistan has promised to raise a security force of 15,000. This would include 9,000 regular Army soldiers in addition to 6,000 more paramilitary personnel. As part of the plan,manpower will be drawn not only from Balochistan but also other provinces, including from local police forces. Sindh province has already voiced disapproval over the security measures, which they say intrude on their rights. Not surprisingly, other provinces appear to be reticent to commit soldiers to places like Balochistan, the most dangerous province and soon-to-be home of the juiciest terror targets in the country once construction is in full swing.

    The Pakistani government knows that it is facing an uphill battle, and so does China for that matter. In July, five projects worth billions were already on the chopping block due to their slow start and Pakistan’s inability to provide adequate security. As recently as September 28, Pakistani media was reporting about China’sdissatisfaction with the current security arrangements for the corridor and how this will affect the project’s overall timeline.

    China has good reason to be worried. There have been a number of attacks against Chinese laborers, engineers, and businessmen in Balochistan and throughout the country since 2001. Not only that, but China has already poured in a reported $14 billion into the CPEC project already. All of this weighs particularly heavy on the heads of Pakistani government officials who can’t afford any more delays, as billions of dollars hang in the balance for both countries.

    And that is the crux of the argument. Because of the upswing in terror and the degradation of the security situation in Balochistan, Pakistan and China risk losing billions over delays and cancellations for the CPEC project. The security situation owes to, in no small part, the pushback that the TTP-JA and other groups have received from the United States and her allies in eastern Afghanistan this summer. To put it more bluntly, the United States has contributed to the degradation of security in Balochistan, a key region for CPEC projects, risking billions for China and Pakistan and putting a strain on their bilateral relations. It would have been easy to predict this outcome, as many observers have. So this ultimately raises a very interesting question: Was the United States banking on increased violence in Balochistan all along?

    http://thediplomat.com/2016/09/is-the-us-trying-to-sabotage-the-china-pakistan-economic-corridor/
     
  2. soulspeek

    soulspeek FULL MEMBER

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    What has Balochistan gained by CPEC except empty promises? Many people are rightly Capplin CPEC as China Punjab Economic Corridor.

    We cant even call them toll collectors as Chinese trucks will use this road free of cost!

    Pakistan has just agreed sold Balochistan to China, just like it ceded Jammu Kashmir territory to China. Countries like US and India are rightly concerned about this situation. We can not only foresee genocide of ethnic Baloch people but also a major naval outpost of Chinese Navy.
     
  3. BlackOpsIndia

    BlackOpsIndia Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    There is some kind of obsession with CPEC, the over hyped $10 Billion road is presented as some kind of game changer.

    So far US is doing nothing to contain China and CPEC, almost giving them free hand and India is struggling to encircle China, which is obvious given the money power of China.
     
  4. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    Senators fear China may use CPEC to enhance trade with India

    - Syed Irfan Raza

    ISLAMABAD: Some lawmakers expressed concern on Wednesday over the possible use of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by China to enhance trade with India.

    During a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development, some lawmakers were of the view that China was investing in the CPEC project to explore new vistas of trade with different countries right from neighbouring India to Central Asian states and Europe.

    Chairman of the committee Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi endorsed a point of view of a senator that with improved rail and road links with India through Munabao and Amritsar under the CPEC, China would expand its trade not only with Central Asian states and European countries but also with India to economically strengthen its eight underdeveloped provinces.

    “China will definitely use the CPEC to expand trade with India because one who invests always watches one’s interests first,” Mr Mashhadi said.

    He said China’s trade relations with India were far bigger than with Pakistan as China had inked $100 billion trade agreements with India last year.

    “Irrespective of sour Pakistan-India relations, China will do trade with Indian through the CPEC,” Mr Mashhadi said.

    Members of the committee asked railway authorities to lay rail tracks called ML-2 and ML-3 that link Pakistan with Iran and Afghanistan and Central Asian states.

    “These projects must be on the priority of China to reach these destinations,” Senator Saud Majeed said.

    However, railway officials informed the committee that they were focusing on improving the existing rail tracks called ML-1 from Karachi to upcountry as a majority of the people lived in the areas falling in alignment of ML-1.

    Senator Sirajul Haq said that the government should give priority first to those projects which were beneficial to the people of Pakistan and then it should safeguard interests of China.

    He was of the view that if the people of less developed areas in Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) did not benefit from the CPEC, they would have no other option but to take up arms to earn their livelihood.

    “If economic conditions of ignored areas are not improved, people living in those areas will be compelled to fight against anybody for only Rs2,000,” the Jamaat-i-Islami chief said.

    The officials of Pakistan Railways informed the committee that all rail projects being executed under the CPEC were planned by both Pakistan and China and the former alone could not go for any project on its own.

    “Both countries have joint working groups which plan and finalise projects,” they said.

    At this, Senator Haq said that recently some of his colleagues had visited China for discussions on the CPEC where they were informed by Chinese authorities that Pakistan had the sole right of planning and decision-making about CPEC projects and China had nothing to do with it.

    Senator Mohammad Usman Khan Kakar said that Pakistan Railways had not taken even a single step forward.

    “We have not gone beyond what we inherited from the British rulers,” he regretted.

    He suggested that plans for new railway tracks in Sindh and Balochistan (ML-2 and ML-3) must be implemented immediately because these were the routes which would make Pakistan economically strong.

    “We have abundance of natural resources like gold, copper, silver, marble and granite in these areas which can be marketed to Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asian states through rail routes,” he said.

    The committee was informed that a majority of electricity generation projects started by the government would be completed between 2018 and 2020.



    http://www.dawn.com/news/1296886/senators-fear-china-may-use-cpec-to-enhance-trade-with-india
     
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  5. BlackOpsIndia

    BlackOpsIndia Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    Upper house never disappoints in thinking and time pass debates :) but actually better than the lower house where all party members are just psychophants, waiting to appease the party leader without own voice.
     
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  6. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    True on either side of border!!! Hilarious!
     
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  7. BlackOpsIndia

    BlackOpsIndia Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    Its true universally, I have observed this all around the world.
     
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  8. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistanis just cannot think beyond CPEC.Everything that happens around them is linked to CPEC.
     
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  9. Inactive

    Inactive Guest


    That is true. Sell a lie and big dreams and people are gullible? The fact that Pakistan is paying for a corridor which only allows China access to a market for it's low tech goods as also to an alternate route to middle east, is somehow lost on the majority of Pakistanis. There is hardly any industry which will grow in this, only closure of the small businesses and industries as the economy of scales will allow Chinese a competitive pricing with respect to domestic producers.

    Interesting times ahead.
     
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  10. Levina

    Levina Admin- Social media Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    Digging their own graves!

    @PARIKRAMA and @Hellfire
    Could this be made into a sub section?
     
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  11. BlackOpsIndia

    BlackOpsIndia Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    Once CPEC is completed they will talk for few months about how trade will increase in few months and when it dont they will find some other fascination to be obsessed and unfortunately it will be related to India. We are universal obsession for them, for change of taste they try US, China but ultimately come back to us, looking confused how those messiah cant resolve their identity issue and how far India went during the time they were waiting for the mercy of China or US or Saudi.

    Not a single anchor or thinker tell them truth that CPEC is nothing but a bubble. The Suez canal earns 5-6 Billion dollars when almost 1o% of total world trade pass thru it and these fools thinks that the road to nowhere will somehow earn them hundreds of Billions. The objective of this road is not trade but to own the Pakistan, possess them, dump their goods by abusing the goodwill generated.

    China's economy is 60% dependent on exports, with rising costs and losing major trade partners they need new consumer base to dump the products. Who better than Pakistan and Bangladesh, the combination that can provide 400 Million consumers and its so easy to influence these beggars, buy out the political leadership.

    These are some hard hitting facts and I also did some research on that route, and you can mark this post, CPEC will be the biggest disappointment of Pakistan, just like Kejri is ours. There is alternate, easy, faster, cheaper, safer route already available to China to every other place that CPEC in wildest dreams can offer.
     
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  12. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    So true, all the people need to do is to see other massive infrastructure projects Chinese have built in african countries or even Sri Lanka.In so many cases countries hoped that investment push will increase their economy and they will use the new money to pay off the debt.Only that the first part did not happen sufficiently enough and now all the government's money goes into servicing old debt instead of development projects.The hole gets bigger and bigger with the interest accumulating year after year.The end result is always a worse position than in which they started.
    China to her credit is always willing to restructure these loans if government comes too close to default,but its still something that countries trying to borrow more than they can afford should look into.
    The story has been repeated so many times and so many documentaries made on it,that I don't understand why do governments still keep doing it.
     
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  13. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    They have no choice in the matter. To appreciate CPEC to create a positive image, and to suppress all criticism that might detract from the illusion, is an order, from up on high.
     
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  14. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    Done
     
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  15. Levina

    Levina Admin- Social media Staff Member ADMINISTRATOR

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    This Pakistani journalist has managed to post the gist of it , sans the mention of Pakistan (ofcourse he didn't want to be the next Cyril Almeida).





    I feel like Aladdin today. lol
     
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