- India and its neighbourhood- relations.
- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
What to study?
- For Prelims: Key features of CPEC.
- For Mains: India’s concerns, ways to address them and global implications of the project.
Context: Clarifying about a recent U.S. media report that alleged that China had hatched a secret plan to build fighter jets and other military hardware in Pakistan as part of the CPEC project, Pakistan has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a bilateral economic project and has no military dimensions.
The CPEC is the flagship project of the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a pet project of Chinese President Xi Jinping, aimed at enhancing Beijing’s influence around the world through China-funded infrastructure projects.
- The 3,000 km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consisting of highways, railways, and pipelines is the latest irritant in the India–China relationship.
- CPEC eventually aims at linking the city of Gwadar in South Western Pakistan to China’s North Western region Xinjiang through a vast network of highways and railways.
- The proposed project will be financed by heavily-subsidised loans, that will be disbursed to the Government of Pakistan by Chinese banking giants such as Exim Bank of China, China Development Bank, and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
But, why is India concerned?
It passes through PoK. Any Indian participation would inextricably be linked to the country’s legitimate claims on PoK.
CPEC rests on a Chinese plan to secure and shorten its supply lines through Gwadar with an enhanced presence in the Indian Ocean. Hence, it is widely believed that upon CPEC’s fruition, an extensive Chinese presence will undermine India’s influence in the Indian Ocean.
It is also being contended that if CPEC were to successfully transform the Pakistan economy that could be a “red rag” for India which will remain at the receiving end of a wealthier and stronger Pakistan.
Besides, India shares a great deal of trust deficit with China and Pakistan and has a history of conflict with both. As a result, even though suggestions to re-approach the project pragmatically have been made, no advocate has overruled the principle strands of contention that continue to mar India’s equations with China and Pakistan.
Sources: the hindu.
Mains Question: How will the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) transform Pakistan? Does CPEC come at a cost to the bonhomie between India and China? Critically examine.