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China–Pakistan Economic Corridor : News & Discussions

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

  1. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    As I said before, the real story of CPEC is not even China, it is the Army's control of an entire trade channel, from Gawadar Port to the Sost Dry Port (http://www.pakistanviews.org/index....n-from-chinese-and-leased-to-nlc-for-20-years ), with the added benefit of transferring the cost of a new security division by a direct levy on bills ( http://tribune.com.pk/story/1187386/ecc-meeting-power-consumers-pay-cpec-security/ ). That is why any criticism of the entire project is crushed by the fauji's boots, and cheerleading it is the order of the day.
     
  2. Inactive

    Inactive Guest

    Has CPEC now kicked off?

    - Khurram Husain

    NOW that a couple of hundred containers have been loaded onto two vessels at Gwadar port and dispatched to various destinations around the world, can we say that CPEC is up and running? The short answer is no. The long answer is not yet.

    The convoy that brought the containers to Gwadar, and the ceremonial send-off at the port with the usual unveiling of plaques, was not a commercial endeavour. It was a forced push, mostly led by the FWO whose DG said he did it to help dampen some of the “despondency” that was beginning to surround the project. Fair enough, the despondency was indeed addressed and a point was indeed made that the roads and the port infrastructure exists to handle this volume of cargo.

    But to get an idea of what it took to make it possible, consider a few details. First, the Chinese were apprehensive, feeling that it is not yet commercially viable, and the government too felt it was a little premature to undertake such a task. The Chinese actually aired their apprehensions briefly when Yuan Jianmen, the executive from Sinotrans, the company that arranged the convoy of goods from the Chinese side, said that “there is still much work to do, especially in certain regions” where people still need to be persuaded of the benefits that CPEC will bring for them.

    The convoy of trucks to Gwadar had a security escort involving more than a hundred personnel, and as many vehicles as there were trucks.

    Next the Chinese raised the point that there are not enough containers available on their side of the border for export shipment from Pakistan, since most of them are booked already, so a special consignment had to be arranged to go to China carrying Pakistani goods just so containers for the return journey would be available over there. The services of a businessman from Gilgit were utilised for the purpose of arranging this consignment of goods.

    The convoy of trucks itself had a security escort involving more than a hundred personnel, and as many vehicles as there were trucks. In addition, there was helicopter protection throughout the journey, as well as drone surveillance from above. The convoy took more than two weeks to reach Gwadar, so stops had to be arranged for such a large number of trucks, which required sleeping arrangements, food and parking space. In some locations, even R&R (if you get my drift) had to be arranged for the drivers to incentivise them to take the less trodden path west of the Indus river.

    From Quetta to Gwadar alone, the journey took four nights, with the fifth being in Gwadar. The route is barren and empty except for two small towns along the way (Panjgur and Turbat), with no maintenance facilities for vehicular traffic, no place to get food for the drivers, and no place to spend the night. The FWO actually arranged for proper ‘harbours’ for the trucks in four locations along the N85 highway using Alaska tents for sleeping and food brought from outside. It was quite a logistical feat if you can imagine the amount of space that number of trucks takes up, and that the size of the personnel travelling was in the hundreds (including security detail).

    Clearly the roads are there for trucks to travel on, but it is not yet viable for commercial traffic to ply these roads to access Gwadar port. Add to this the distance. According to one person (a commercial party) that was involved in the arrangements, the western route taken by the trucks will never be viable for cargoes originating in Lahore or south of Lahore. That means it’s only viable for cargoes originating in KP, upper Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan or China. Considering most of Pakistan’s export base is located around Lahore and south of Lahore, this means the route will only be commercially viable for a small number of Pakistani producers, or for the Chinese, who continue to harbour strong apprehensions on security as well as the costs of utilising the western route.

    Of course none of this means that the road network should never have been built. It should be built. In time, it has to be expanded from the current two lane alignment to six lanes. The Karakoram Highway took almost three decades before it began to grow into a large commercial artery, and that process still has a long way to go before it reaches full bloom.

    That is the point here. The roads being built under the CPEC connectivity projects are a long-term proposition. It will be a couple of decades before they become arteries for major commercial traffic, but when that begins to happen, it will definitely be a ‘game changer’ for Pakistan. Some unscrupulous real estate agents are already beginning to cash in on the headlines and trying to sell Gwadar property under the pretext that “trade has now begun, prices there are about to skyrocket”. Don’t fall for this line! Trade has not started at Gwadar yet.

    At this point, it is important to start thinking of ways to literally push cargoes towards Gwadar, provided its cargo handling is reliable enough. So here is a suggestion. A large number of containers leave Pakistan every year completely empty because we have a trade deficit with the outside world, and since more is imported than exported, containers naturally tend to accumulate within the country. Empty containers are routinely shipped out of the country, and their transport and insurance costs are lower. In fact, almost half of the containers that went out of Gwadar port as part of this exercise were empty. Is it possible to make a rule that all empty containers must be shipped out of Gwadar from now on? This will help de-clog Karachi’s two ports, and push traffic towards Gwadar.

    In any case, the exercise was a successful demonstration of the infrastructure built so far, but it will be many years before real commercial traffic begins to flow along it.


    http://www.dawn.com/news/1296727/has-cpec-now-kicked-off
     
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  3. Agent_47

    Agent_47 Admin - Blog Staff Member MODERATOR

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    The China-Pakistan Corridor is All About Power. Not Electricity, but the Real Thing.


    The electricity generating projects are likely to saddle the Pakistani government with a massive fiscal burden but the real cost of CPEC is likely to be felt in the changing civil-military balance.

    [​IMG]
    General Raheel Sharif drives Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the newly constructed patch of CPEC in Gwadar. Credit: ISPR/The Herald

    It has been a year since the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was launched on a wave of Pakistani euphoria. It was called a game-changer, so Pakistan has played the new game for a year now, and though the rest of the world – and Pakistanis outside government – have no clue what the rules are, it is becoming clear that if ever there was what cricketers call a corridor of uncertainty, this is one. Nawaz Sharif, a batsman in his prime, knows that the best you can hope for in that corridor is the fortuitous reward of a Chinese cut.

    Though there are fears in Lutyens’ Delhi that the corridor will be a strategic nightmare for India, there is a greater chance of it becoming an incubus for Pakistan. $34.4 billion of the $46 billion announced are for power projects, of which the government designated 16 as early-harvest, the yield presumably its re-election in 2018. These will add 10,400 MW of generating capacity to the grid, which the government claimed would resolve Pakistan’s critical shortage of power, now as much a political as an economic problem.

    Numbers that don’t add up

    This is misleading, for several reasons. Firstly, Pakistan’s power crisis does not flow from a shortage of generating capacity. Installed capacity is 22,800 MW, more than enough for the current demand of 19000 MW. Many thermal plants were idle because of a shortage of feedstock, but in February this year, Pakistan signed an agreement with Qatar, at unit costs 20% less than it paid in 2013, to import 3.75 million tonnes of LNG each year for them, and for the six plants being built in Punjab, which will add 3600 MW to installed capacity.

    Secondly, work is also reported to be under way on several hydropower projects, all with international partners, some of them Chinese, which dwarf those of CPEC in scope. Just seven of them – Diamer-Bhasha and Bonji in Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Neelam-Jhelum, Azad Pattan and Mehl in the ‘Azad Jammu Kashmir’ part of POK, and Tarbela IV and V and Dasu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – will add another 21,129 MW to the grid. That is more than double the early-harvest projects.

    Thirdly, the real problem with Pakistan’s power generation and distribution companies is a crisis of circular debt, which increasing production will not solve, but which the CPEC agreement announced in February 2016 will exacerbate. The government has approved the establishment of revolving funds, equal to 22% of monthly invoicing, “backed by sovereign guarantees to ensure uninterrupted payments to Chinese sponsors of CPEC energy projects”. If the purchaser fails to replenish the account, the ministry of finance will. Since distribution companies will default, because tariffs are low, and even those are not paid, the government will pay, up front, at least 22% of the bills of the Chinese companies.

    Other sponsors, and their Pakistani partners, hardly likely to run plants at a loss, will lobby for the same treatment, which the government cannot concede, because even the guarantee to the Chinese will be a huge drain on the budget. They will then let their plants go idle, which will return Pakistan to a power crisis, even if the CPEC plants run well, or approach the courts for injunctions against a government decision that patently discriminates between companies engaged in the same line of business.

    How large is the liability the government has taken on? Suki-Kinari, which will generate 870 MW of hydropower in the corridor, has announced that it will add 3050 gigawatt/hours to the grid at a tariff of 8.84 cents/kwh. This translates to invoices of $270 million annually, of which the government of Pakistan has now guaranteed $59 million. If all other projects have similar outputs and tariffs, the early-harvest projects will entail the government paying at least $700 million each year as guaranteed fees to the Chinese sponsors, assuming that local companies will be forced to default. In the parlous state of Pakistan’s finances, that is not sustainable. (And if the courts rule that the favour must be extended to all others, it will become even more so.)

    For all its brave talk, these realities seem to have now dawned upon the government, which, from some of its recent decisions, appears to be dragging its feet on CPEC projects, drawing criticism from two quarters, China and the Pakistan army. The planning ministry had asked for Rs.350 billion in the 2016-17 budget for CPEC projects, which it oversees: it was given Rs.124 billion, a third of what it needed. It has allocated 90% of this to road projects, not to the power plants, which might seem to reflect a shift of priorities towards the road sector (and raise suspicions in India), but this is just 15% of the Rs.762 billion that the highway authority had asked for, so even this work is not really galloping on.

    [​IMG]
    Road network of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. The proposed roads pass through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Credit: Adapted from Wikimedia Commons

    If CPEC is a game-changer, it seems odd that the government should be starving it of funds. Either it is not, or the government is so strapped that it cannot possibly give more without creating major privations and serious problems elsewhere. (As an order of comparison, all the Sharif government was able or willing to allot this year as its share in the building of the CPEC power projects was Rs.13 billion. Once these are up and running, it would have to find Rs.72 billion every year to pay the guaranteed 22% to the Chinese operators.)

    The one project the government is pressing ahead with, brushing aside all opposition, including from two UN special rapporteurs, on cultural rights and on the right to housing, is the Lahore Metro, which is peripheral to the economic and strategic objectives of CPEC, but which the ruling party believes will swing voters towards it in the Punjab, which is its heartland. The project has run into heavy weather in the courts, and it remains to be seen if the government can continue with the demolitions of heritage sites and private buildings, and the forced displacements that follow, if the Lahore high court rules against it. If in its desperation it does, it might invite more serious trouble later, since the courts in Pakistan are no longer supine.

    Army stakes it claim

    And the army is lying in wait. Details of how CPEC will be funded, how much of it is a grant, how much of the investment is in the form of loans which Pakistan will have to repay, and on what terms, are mysteries, the entire agreement being opaque. What is transparent, even if extraordinary, is the army’s close interest in what is supposedly a purely economic project. To some, this simply reflects the army’s greed; since it has major commercial interests, promoted through its two foundations, it sees enormous new opportunities if the corridor throws up economic zones on its fringes, and plans to corner the lion’s share. That might well be true, but the army is playing a deeper and older game.

    After the attack on the school in Peshawar in December 2014, Pakistan adopted a national action plan (NAP) against terrorism, which gave the army a leading role, including the right to have terrorists tried in military courts. But shortly thereafter, the army announced the formation of apex committees in provinces wracked by terrorism, including Sindh. Formally chaired by the chief minister, these would include the local corps commander. These were not part of the NAP, but the government acquiesced in their formation, giving the army an institutional role in policing and law and order issues, which it did not have. There are reports that it is the corps commander whose writ runs in these committees.

    Immediately after the bomb blast in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park in Lahore on Easter this year, the army demanded an apex committee in Punjab, which the Sharif brothers have resisted, since this is their bailiwick. If they cede Punjab to the army, they lose their political base. General Raheel Sharif has not given up there, but he has opened another front in CPEC to keep the government under pressure.

    China, for which the corridor is a flagship programme in its One Belt, One Road project, knew its workers would need protection in Balochistan and elsewhere. The Pakistan Army announced that it would raise a force specifically to protect them, but it has since played on Chinese fears that CPEC might stall. General Sharif has repeatedly and stridently played up its importance, the threats to it from India, and the army’s determination to see it through, projecting the army as the best ally China has on CPEC.

    From late last year, with the apex committees under its belt, the army has pressed for an institutional role in CPEC. In April, 2016, the minister for planning told a Pakistani newspaper that he had received an “informal proposal” six months back for the establishment of a CPEC Authority, in which the army would have a role, and for CPEC to be made part of the NAP against terrorism. The government did not accept these ideas, but General Sharif has not given up. In mid-May, he was in Beijing again, where he met Premier Li Keqiang, who, according to Xinhua, said that military-to-military relations had reinforced China-Pakistan ties, and economic cooperation and security collaboration between the two countries should be pushed forward “like two wheels”. Two wheels need an axle to move together: that is the Pakistani army.

    [​IMG]
    Pakistan’s amy chief, General Raheel Sharif, with Chinese premir, Li Keqiang, in Beijing, May 2016. Credit: ISPR

    The ISPR account of the meeting was just as revealing. The Chinese leaders, it said, appreciated the army’s role in CPEC security, and the faster development of CPEC would “realise dream of prosperity across the region”. The subtext was clear: the Chinese believed CPEC was being held up, but trusted the Pakistan Army. Therefore, give the army a greater role and all would be well. As the civilian government tries to cling on to the remnants of its power against General Sharif’s determined attempts to whittle them down, wedging the army into institutional roles in internal security and economic development, it would appear that the Chinese, at least implicitly, are backing the army to get CPEC moving faster.

    All it will need is a substantial attack on Chinese workers on the corridor, which can be blamed on India, to force the government to cave in and agree to the army’s demand. If that attack coincides with some other crisis which would already have placed the government under pressure, a common enough predicament for Nawaz Sharif, the army will get what it wants, in the administration of CPEC and beyond. CPEC may or may not resolve one power crisis; it is likely to set off another. The game will change in Pakistan, but perhaps not in the way the government had expected.

    Satyabrata Pal is a former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan

    http://thewire.in/39874/the-china-p...out-power-not-electricity-but-the-real-thing/
     
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  4. BlackOpsIndia

    BlackOpsIndia Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    Seems like they were smuggling Chinese President in these trucks :D Pakistanis break all records when it comes licking Chinese boots. Remember this:

    [​IMG]

    Yes full 8 planes in Emperor Xi service :) They never respect own President, PM, not even Chinese lick their President's boot like Pakistani, after this read below :D

     
  5. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Mandarin will soon become official language of Pakistan :computer1:

     
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  6. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    India needs to seek alliance partners who are prepared to contain the Chinese aggression

    Ostensibly, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is meant for trade and commerce. However, it has serious geopolitical ramifications which we seem to have overlooked. The first is the very alignment of this so-called economic corridor. It runs through the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region of J&K which legally belongs to India. We should have protested vehemently against any renewed road construction activity in this disputed region.

    Amazingly, some mandarins in our foreign ministry initially welcomed the initiation of the CPEC project. China is cleverly using the alibi of trade to further its military ambitions. The recently published map alignment of this corridor indicates two major loops that come close to the Indian borders in Punjab and Rajasthan. The whole world knows that major tank battles have taken place here in past Indo- Pak wars—notably, 1965 and 1971.In any future Indo-Pak conflict, these would be the two primary areas for major tank-to-tank battles which may well be decisive. The two stated aims of China are the mechanisation and informatisation of its military. As part of this drive, almost all Chinese Army formations have converted to wheeled/track-based mechanised formations with high mobility and firepower. These can easily operate in the Tibetan plateau but cannot be applied across the Himalayan passes (except in Ladakh).

    The CPEC now provides China a major opportunity to apply its huge tank forces against India via Pakistan in any future war. This would erode the tank superiority we have over Pakistan and poses an existential threat to India. No government worth its salt can accept this accentuation of the land threat to India with equanimity. In such a scenario, India may well have to reconsider its no-first-use nuclear doctrine.

    Secondly, the CPEC culminates in the Gwadar port in Balochistan. This is already operational and Pakistan has offered this to China as a naval base. That has serious implications for India’s national security in as much as it poses serious threats to our sea-based lines of communications from the Middle East and Africa. This could jeopardise our energy security. The nightmare would be China basing its nuclear and conventional submarines at Gwadar. In one fell swoop, Pakistan, by renting out its territory, has made the Chinese Navy, a serious contender in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Responsible nation-states don’t let such serious threats emerge in their own geopolitical backyard with such impunity.

    They don’t react to such serious developments with the equanimity that we have displayed so far. We have permitted China to reach the Makran coast without let or hindrance. When news of the CPEC had first emerged in the press, sections of the foreign ministry bureaucracy had even welcomed it. The guiding mantra then was to not do anything to annoy China. People had to be reminded that this rail road corridor was being built through our territory. China had contemptuously decided to ignore all Indian concerns and sensitivities and invest $46 billion in China’s highway through Pakistan.

    The CPEC is now operational. By renting out its territory, Pakistan had in one fell swoop, made China a major military player in the IOR. Donald Trump had threatened that he would make allies like Europe, Japan and South Korea pay more for US bases and protection. He wanted Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear weapons.

    An isolationist America may not continue the US pivot to Asia. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative for Asian powers like India-Japan-Vietnam and South Korea to balance the power of an increasingly aggressive China. Towards that end, our Prime Minister’s recent visit to Japan was a landmark event, because it saw the signing of the India-Japan Civil Nuclear deal.

    The signing of the US-2 Amphibian plane deal will perhaps be equally significant. India and Japan can cooperate in the development of a Fifth Generation Fighter, conventional warships and submarines, tank and aircraft engines and in the field of cyber warfare and outer space. Japan and South Korea may well have to develop nuclear deterrents of their own because the US nuclear umbrella may no longer be guaranteed. Singly, the Asian powers, who feel threatened by a rising China, may not be able to hold their own against the colossus in Asia but collectively they could force it to disperse efforts and resources in multiple directions.

    idrw.org . Read more at India No 1 Defence News Website , Kindly don't paste our work in other websites http://idrw.org/india-needs-to-seek...e-prepared-to-contain-the-chinese-aggression/ .
     
  7. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    Lessons from Srilanka->

    Rajapaksa threatens to overturn deal with China on Hambantota port
    Published: 16th December 2016 07:45 PM |

    Last Updated: 16th December 2016 07:45 PM | A+A A- |

    [​IMG]
    Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa | EPS

    COLOMBO: The woes of the non-performing Hambantota port, built by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa with a Chinese loan of US$ 1.4 billion, have not come to an end with a Chinese company, China Merchant Port Holdings (CMPort) agreeing to take 80 percent stake in it and pull it out of the financial woods.

    Rajapaksa, and his new organisation the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP), have threatened to abrogate the agreement with China when they come to power.

    To Rajapaksa, the SLPP and the “Joint Opposition Group”, the Sino-Lankan deal is a sellout to China, totally deleterious to the national interest. And in this, they have the support of the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) also.

    This month, nearly 500 workers at the port struck work against its privatisation through a sale to a Chinese company. They detained a Japanese and a South African vessel for several days in an act which was tantamount to piracy. The Sri Lankan navy had to use force to evict the strikers and release the ships. As consequence, insurance companies designated Hambantota port as a high risk port, damaging the country’s image in the eyes of foreign shipping lines and foreign investors.

    Rajapaksa’s objections to the deal with China are many. By giving 80 percent stake in the port to the state-owned Chinese company, and making the deal valid for 99 years, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe regime has virtually handed over a huge national economic and strategic asset to a foreign company and a foreign country, he charged.

    The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will lose its control over the port. The Sri Lankan navy, which is in charge of security in all Sri Lankan ports, will lose this role to the Joint Venture company in Hambantota port. Although the navy will be a member of the committee to ensure security, it will not be in-charge of security in the way in which it is now. Sri Lanka will not be able to get any dividend from the port for 15 years which is the time it might take to become commercially viable. Sri Lanka will also not be able tax the Sino-Sri Lankan Joint Venture company for 15 years.

    Link-
    http://www.newindianexpress.com/wor...with-china-on-hambantota-port-1549831--1.html
     
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  8. Blackjay

    Blackjay Developers Guild Developers -IT and R&D

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    Orange Line secrecy
    EDITORIAL — PUBLISHED about 10 hours ago


    THE latest disclosure by a department of the Punjab government that a secrecy clause in the loan agreement for the Orange Line train being built in Lahore prevents the release of the terms of the loan is serious cause for concern. The disclosure was made by the Punjab Information Commission to the Lahore High Court recently, and if is true it raises serious questions about the legality of the loan agreement in the first place. In Pakistan, all public loans to be repaid with public funds need to be disclosed since there is an abiding public interest in the terms of agreement. If it is true that the government of Punjab, with backing from the centre, has entered into a loan agreement with the Chinese EXIM bank for construction of the rail project containing a clause that requires the terms of the loan agreement and repayment obligations to be kept secret, then the issue needs to be scrutinised and discussed to determine whether or not it is legal.

    Many things about the Lahore Orange Line rail project are disturbing, including the failure to carry out a proper environmental impact assessment, as well as confusion over whether or not it is part of the CPEC bouquet of projects. Now we add another item to the list: the terms of the loan agreement through which the project is being financed. The Punjab government needs to make a more proactive effort to address the serious issues that are coming to engulf the project; denying access to records of decisions as well as terms of financing does little more than buy a little more time. In due course, all these questions will require a response to clear doubts, and it is better that the answers come earlier rather than later to avoid having to sink more money into the project. Transparency is an important pillar in government operations in Pakistan. Shoving it aside will only result in stoking the controversy further.

    Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2016
     
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  9. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  10. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Chambers voice concern at China’s plan to ‘set up industry along CPEC route’
    GUJRAT: The three chambers of commerce and industry of what is termed as “golden industrial triangle” comprising Gujrat, Gujranwala and Sialkot cities, have expressed their grave concern over China’s reported plan of establishing industrial units and warehouses along the route of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
     
  11. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    CPEC will destroy whatever little industry Pakistan has.And without Indian market,it will remain a costly strategic corridor
     
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  12. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    CPEC Will definitely be profitable for China.....
    Else they wouldn't have gotten into it in the first place...

    It is also an opportunity for Pakistan to improve their power generation, employment, and Transportation Facilities.... Now how far can they extract those opportunities will be seen...

    Roads... Ports... Power Plants... Railways... Dams...Factories... No wonder the Pakistanis like it so much...Because their own Government's economic policies have been such tragic failures...I guess... It's Natural for the Pakistani People to Like whatever comes from China...Seeing China's economic success and all...
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  13. Ripcord322

    Ripcord322 Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    The Chinese already have access to the Indian Market... For Example.. See the Smartphone market... It almost fully Chinese... Almost every piece of Electronic Equipment is made there....
     
  14. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Chinese got in just because of UPA government, before that, we in fact used to score surplus.
    And again, under NDA, imports from China declined by 7.5% because they embrace local industries.
     
  15. randomradio

    randomradio Mod Staff Member MODERATOR

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    Not true. China grew into a giant under UPA. Nobody could stop Chinese exports after they joined WTO in 2001.

    That has more to do with the global economic slowdown. Only prices have fallen, not volumes.
     

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